Moment for History: 109-Year-Old Japanese Woman Carries the Olympic Flame

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The traditional Olympics torch relay before each Games, whose purpose is to carry a message of peace as runners take it on the journey, is in full swing. As we all know, the next Olympic Games are to be held in Tokyo this summer but, even before the event in the capital of Japan started, some of the Olympic records are broken.

The torch was carried, a few days ago, by 109-year-old Shigeko Kagawa, who entered the history of the Games. Carrying a flame in the city of Yamatokōriyama, in Nara Prefecture, she became the oldest person in the history of the Olympics to do so. Kagawa overtook the Brazilian Aida Mendes, who got involved in torch relay at the age of 107, back in 2016, prior to the Rio Olympics.

She’s Beloved In the Local Community

Japanese media reported that Kagawa has had a huge contribution to the local community in the area of medicine since she was 80 years old. More precisely, Kagawa helped people as an obstetrician and gynecologist. During the Pacific War (1941-1945), she worked at a hospital in Osaka and was saving the lives of people burned in air raids. The wife of her grandson filled in an application for the old lady to take part in the torch relay after hearing her words: “I can’t die until I see the Tokyo Olympics.”

“The last time (1964) when the Olympics were held in Tokyo was a good memory. I started watching the opening ceremony on the TV screen but soon afterward I received a call and I had to rush to the patient’s house. When the torch relay was postponed (last year), I said to myself that I have to stay healthy until next year and I was looking forward to this day,” Kagawa stated.

Upon receiving the torch in her hands and being strolled in the wheelchair, Kagawa waved to the people cheering on the roadside, ran about 200 meters with a smile and finally decided to pose with her right-hand open. “I didn’t think the torch is so heavy. I was happy to have everyone support me,” she added.

Breaking Her Record Is Expected Soon

However, Kagawa’s record will likely not last long. It is expected it will be broken by Kane Tanaka, currently the oldest citizen of the planet Earth. She is 117 years old and is currently considered the oldest person in the world by the Guinness World Records. Tanaka will carry the flame as it passes through the city of Shime in Fukuoka Prefecture, on May 12.

Recall that the Tokyo Olympic Games were originally supposed to be held last summer but were postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The competitions, on which you will be able to bet on all online bookmakers that are reputable and have deposit bonuses, in the Japanese capital will start on July 23 and will last until August 8.