Olympics: Japan’s superfan looks to finish Olympic circle in 2020


TOKYO (Reuters) – For the majority, going to watch the Olympics is an as soon as-in-a-lifetime opportunity; however, for 92-12 months-antique superfan Naotoshi Yamada has emerged as a quadrennial ritual during the last five and a 1/2 many years.

Yamada regarded his Japanese compatriots as “Olympic Ojisan” or “Olympics Grandad,” first skilled the Summer Games when Tokyo closing hosted the collection in 1964. He has been there for each minute of each one due to the fact.

Olympics: Japan's superfan looks to finish Olympic circle in 2020 1

“Mexico, Munich, Montreal, Los Angeles, Moscow. Japan did now not even participate at the Moscow Olympics; however, I went to look at that Games,” Yamada advised Reuters in Tokyo.

“Moscow, Seoul, Barcelona, Sydney, Athens, Beijing, London. I went to all Games from the outlet to the last ceremony … There isn’t much for someone like me. I am the simplest one on the planet.”

In his exceptional gold top hat, purple jacket, and a beaming smile, Yamada has to turn out to be one of the most familiar and colorful figures at the Games, frequently followed by way of tv cameras and cheered via other enthusiasts.

Now, he has one very last desire — to stay long enough to witness the carrying spectacle while it returns to Japan next year.

“It may be the fruits of all my years cheering the Olympics,” said Yamada.

Yamada changed into a relative stripling of 38 when he attended his first Olympics, now not just to witness the carrying spectacle but from an earlier desire to experience the world that became inspired by a speech given at his university employing Emperor Hirohito.

“The Emperor stated he desired the young era to rebuild our u. S .,” Yamada said.

“I felt that I desired to do something for my u. S. I suppose that it is one of the motives why I started to visit the Olympics.”

Yamada’s first Games outdoor Japan turned into Mexico City in 1968, where he paired his traditional Haori Hakama kimono with a Mexican sombrero.

Yamada said it was not possible for him to choose a fave from the 14 Olympics.

“If you have … Exceptional colorings of crayons and someone asks which coloration the favorite one is? Black? Red? Blue? Green? … Each coloration has its individual,” stated Yamada, an enormous grin etched throughout his face.

“So I can not tell that is my favorite one. Each of the Olympics has been captivating.”

Yamada loves the global nature of the Olympic Games and has a tremendous collection of souvenirs he has accrued through the years. A number of them acquired through swaps with different fanatics.

His haul of flags, stamps, snapshots, and different items are on show at a gallery in his homeland of Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture.

“The Olympics is simplest the international festival for all humankind,” said Yamada.

“Athletes and tourists from more than two hundred nations will acquire at one region.