- Title: Crowds defy virus worry to see Olympic flame, Games' fate in question
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: ***WARNING: CONTAINS LASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** SCHOOL GIRL LIGHTING CAULDRON WITH FLAME
- Keywords: Games Japan Olympics and Paralympics Tokyo 2020 Torch recovery flame
- Reuters ID: LVA002C6ET1S7
- Location: FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN
- City: FUKUSHIMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Duration: 00:00:14
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Story Text: EDITOR'S NOTE: PART AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
More than 1,000 people gathered on Tuesday (March 24) to see the Olympic flame in Japan's northern city of Fukushima, defying calls from Games organizers looking to rein in a coronavirus pandemic that has fuelled doubts over whether this year's event will go ahead.
The flame arrived from Greece last week for a six-day tour meant to showcase the recovery of the areas worst affected in the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami before Thursday's torch relay, now scaled back because of virus concerns. The calls for crowds not to gather on the Flame of Recovery tour went unheeded for a fifth straight day, with Tokyo 2020 organizers saying more than 1,000 people turned out to watch the lighting of a special cauldron from the Olympic flame.
Although Japan has a tally of 1,852 virus infections and 52 deaths, Tuesday's event was a once in a lifetime opportunity for many Fukushima residents.
Thursday's scaled-down version of the torch relay will see the Olympic flame carried in a lantern rather than borne by relay runners, a local government official said. A final decision on whether to postpone the Tokyo Olympics because of the virus will be imminent in coming days, sources within the Olympic movement told Reuters.
(Production: Akira Tomoshige, Jack Tarrant, Akiko Okamoto)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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