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Typing to you from Tokyo: Olympic Games in paperwork…

Wednesday, 28 July 2021
Tokyo Olympic Games

World of Showjumping They let me in! So now I’m ready for my third Olympic Games and this one will be different.

 

World of Showjumping’s very own photographer Jenny Abrahamsson has finally arrived in Tokyo for the Olympic Games, but it’s been a long process to get there. On our blog, Jenny shares some of her experiences from the endless pre-departure preparations, the journey itself and the first impressions upon arrival. 

 


 

I have never filled out so many forms, tried to log in to so many websites, read so many manuals and downloaded so many apps as for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. As you all know by now, the press preparations for Tokyo have been going on for years – but the workload has increased the closer we got to the Games. It has been confusing with logins that didn't work and excel files that couldn't be opened and then new emails everyday with things to do. 

The worst thing for me has been all the abbreviations: PVC, CLO, ICON, NOK, ADS, TM, MTM, AVBS, MOFA and on we go. I still don’t know what they all mean and will probably not understand anymore of it when it’s all done here. 

In the end, I had a lot of people helping me out to get it all done – my brother, who had to open the countless locked excel files that couldn’t be opened on my computer and who filled them out for me, the local doctor who organised with the two required Covid-19 tests that I needed to enter Japan – one of them which needed to be done on the Saturday into her summer holiday, a professor at a lab that last Sunday helped me get the test results in the right forms after I received both results in the wrong forms to begin with, and of course my colleagues who have had to take on a bigger part of the daily work with the website when I was sitting with my head down reading manuals and playbooks. 

We have also had a Facebook-group for equestrian media, where a lot of good and helpful information has been shared – even though this site also gave me a bit of stress at more than one occasion when it seemed like some totally panicked, giving me the feeling I might have missed out on something I should have known about.

With all the papers printed – in several copies – I headed off to the airport in Frankfurt on Monday morning. With a lot of extra time that was eaten up by traffic, searching for the parking house I had booked in for, looking for the right counter for the Olympic check-in as well as airport personnel reading the Olympic rules while going through all my papers. First after the second paperwork check about an hour before boarding, I started to believe that I would be able to get on the plane. Not all did – at least three people didn’t make the second control and were left behind at the airport. 

World of Showjumping A very small part of the bus central. It is a huge amount of people crossing here every day to get to the right venue, hotel or training arena.

When arriving in Tokyo, we had to stay in the plane for about half an hour when more paperwork was handed out. Then, all the athletes and everyone involved in the Games were allowed to leave the plane first – with the rest left in their seats. The experience in Frankfurt had really pushed my stress level, since I hate to search for things, so in comparison it was a dream to land in Tokyo. Not once did I have to wonder where to go, it was always someone telling us which was the next step – and for those that didn’t listen, there were signs everywhere. There were a lot of controls and most of them involved showing the same papers over and over again, a Covid-19 test was made, we walked several kilometres and were also asked to wait in between. I would have been happy to walk even further though, and could have had double the amount of controls, because everyone was really helpful and they knew what they were doing. 

2,5 hours after the plane hit the tarmac in Tokyo, I sat on the bus to the central station. Sometimes it is a big advantage not being the first media arriving, now a system with a flow has been worked out and I’m quite pleased with my 2,5 hours in comparison to those that spent 6-7 hours before being let out of the airport. 

From the massive bus station, there are busses going in every direction to the hotels and the different venues. I jumped on the bus to the MPC (which I actually know means ‘Main Press Center’). With my activity plan not being approved yet – a plan we needed to send in about a month prior to the Games with information about which venues we would like to visit – I still don’t know if I have to go into quarantine for three days, with start tomorrow, or not. So, I thought it was better to get all the practical things at the MPC done straight away. With my two extremely heavy bags I got the press kit, the photographer’s bib, found some food and got my camera cleaned. Love Canon for being present at the Olympics, offering service to the photographers! Within an hour my camera was cleaned and checked. 

From the MPC I made my way back to the buss central – that has an abbreviation I just can’t remember – and searched up the bus that was supposed to take me to the hotel. Well, my timing was bad at this stage so now I’m sitting on one of my bags in a corner of the station writing this, since I have a 1.5 hour wait for the bus going to the hotel that will be my home for the next 12 days…

Jenny 

World of Showjumping My working space while waiting for the bus, writing this blog.



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