On May 17, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay, which was to take place on a public road, was changed to a lighting ceremony in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park following the emergency declaration in Hiroshima Prefecture, and the flame was passed on with the Torch Kiss. From the Coca-Cola Red Sparks Hockey Team, players Hazuki Yuda, Aki Mitsuhashi, and Emi Nishikori took part as Torchbearers.
First up was Mitsuhashi. Dressed in a clean white Torchbearer’s outfit and holding a golden Torch, she moved to her Torch Kiss spot surrounded by a solemn atmosphere and passed the flame in sync with the next Torchbearer. She was followed by Nishikori, and finally Yuda, as the flame was safely passed on.
The slogan for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay is, “Hope Lights Our Way”. And it is also our goal as the Red Sparks Hockey Team to show everyone how we continue to follow our dreams, and to move people and give positive energy.
I passed on the flame wishing for good health for everyone and was filled with appreciation for all the people who have supported me. It was a great moment in my life that I will never forget. With so much grim news from the Corona pandemic, it is my hope to put smiles on as many faces as possible through hockey. I believe that sports have that power. The experience made me reaffirm my gratitude for this life, and my desire to continue taking challenges without fearing failure and to continue to grow every day.
When the flame, which had traveled across the country for 49 days, reached my Torch, I was truly moved. And the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch relay still continues on. I am very proud to have been a part of the 121-day journey and to have passed on the flame, representing Red Sparks. I hope for the return to a normal life full of smiles. Thank you for this precious experience.
In the torch relay, the spotlight is often on the Torchbearer, but I realized after taking part as a Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torchbearer, the amount of people involved to make this happen. I was also able to pass on the flame in peace, thinking of all the people across the country and their wishes. Thank you for allowing me to participate as a member of Team Coca-Cola. It has truly been an unforgettable day.
Coca-Cola is the presenting partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay.