RTÉ would be floor to ceiling Olympics in any other version of 2020 but in the only one we’ve got we had to settle for a reflective piece last night in Tokyo 2020 -One Year to Go.
Evanne Ní Chuillin and Peter Collins sat with a variety of those impacted by the switch effected by COVID-19 including the President of the Olympic Federation of Ireland Sarah Keane and her counterpart in Paralympics Ireland John Fulham.
Both were well on top of the detail as regards the logistics of how the games might look 12 months on but were also mindful of the fact that we remain in the grip of the virus and an insert from Gareth Reidy of Bloomberg in Tokyo reiterated that this may yet not take place at all.
On balance, Keane thought it was more likely that it would, and she praised the level of communication and consultation coming out of Japan and the IOC in Switzerland.
Fulham was equally edging towards optimism and was complimentary of the quick actions which Sport Ireland had taken in terms of funding.
There were athletes both in-studio and from remote locations including Ciara Mageean fresh from here new Irish record in Switzerland.
There were also insert pieces highlighting the individuals and the teams that will be facing into another year of preparation, from the Irish Women’s Hockey team through Rhys McLenagahan looking to use the time to improve, through an emotional Ellen Keane and a wistful Kellie Harrington revealing that she was not worried at all about a life post-boxing.
It would be such a shame if such a talent was deprived of appearing on the greatest stage for any amateur sportsperson but in a world of relativities, there was also a sense that there are greater challenges facing many around the world.
It was enough to whet the appetite, to encourage us all to do what we can to ensure a healthy environment, and to let us know that the momentum which was building behind the hope of a most successful Games ever for Ireland was in safe hands.
There was also a great montage of Ireland’s great Olympic moments going all the way back to 1928 and showing clips of all our Gold medal winners, barring, of course, the one that is always airbrushed from history despite here remaining on the record books as Ireland’s greatest Olympian, Michelle Smith. But that’s another story altogether…