The Tokyo Olympics was scheduled to be held in 2020, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic was postponed and is now scheduled to be held from 23 July – 8 August 2021.
The traditional Olympic flame lighting ceremony was held near the Temple of Hera in Olympia, Greece, on March 12, 2020, reaffirming the connection between the modern Games and their historic origins, after which it was transported to Athens and flown to Fukushima, Japan, from where it was scheduled to be carried by runners to Tokyo’s New National Stadium, the main venue of the 2020 Olympics.
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the planned relay leg through Greece was cancelled, and both the lighting ceremony in Olympia and the handover ceremony in Athens had no public attendance. The relay was suspended on 25 March 2020, a day before the Japanese relay was due to start, and the torch was moved to Tokyo for exhibition until the relay resumed as planned on 25 March 2021.
Meanwhile in Thailand, plans went ahead to conduct the Flag of Nation run through 35 provinces over a distance of 4,606 kilometres in 61 days.
Commencing on March 27, a total of 4,568 athletes, celebrities and selected members of the public were assigned to carry the flag from the National Stadium in Bangkok to finish at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where the Thai Olympic contingent would escort it on a flight to Tokyo scheduled for 27 May.
Chonburi province was one of the last stops of the flag’s journey through Thailand where Governor Pakarathorn Thienchai presided over a grand ceremony at the provincial hall to welcome and wish it and the Thai Olympic athletes safe travels and success at the world games.
Together with a team of government officials, he ran with the flag to Phraphutthasihing Dhamma Hall where it was placed on a decorated truck to be transported onwards to Chachoengsao Province and on to Suvarnabhumi International Airport for the flight to Tokyo.