On Friday afternoon, Urban Seles sat in front of his television watching the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Normally it was not on the Koekoekstraat in Aartselaar but near the Olympic Stadium.
“Because I was vaccinated twice, I was convinced I could be there this time too,” Urban says. “Together with four guys, we’ve already bought our tickets, for both the flight, the Airbnb accommodations, and the matches we wanted to attend.”
The 12th Summer Olympics will be in Urban. The trip takes three weeks, from last Wednesday to Wednesday after the matches. He especially liked swimming and volleyball competitions. But other sports competitions were also on the agenda.
“In March, we got the message that all flights to Japan were canceled,” Orbin says. I also heard at the time that except for some officials, the public would not be allowed. Of course this is a pity, not only for relaxation but also for the performance of athletes. I don’t think there will be many broken records.”
Urban describes himself as a passive athlete. Active sports were limited to playing football in his youth and then going for a bike ride every now and then. Watching the performance of the athletes fascinates him so much more.
“I was mainly interested in football and was a fan of Inter Milan and often went to Italy to watch their matches. But I also saw Italy crowned champions in the World Cup in Spain. And although it was difficult to get tickets for the Cup final in England, I was already ten times”.
“A ticket to that final would have cost 10 pounds in the 1970s. My stay in Japan now, in general, costs more than 4,000 euros. This is of course also much more than the amount I paid for the first Olympic Games in 1976 in Montreal. Those were the games that were defeated In it Evo Van Dam was by John Walker in the 1500m just before the finish line.”
memories in the vault
Urbain keeps track of all the sporting events he attended, as well as many fond memories, as well as all tickets and photos with winning or famous athletes. He also always buys a dummy from mascots and local magazines right away. He keeps them like gold nuggets in a bank vault.
“Not that I go to watch it a lot, but sometimes I do and I enjoy it to the fullest every time. So I won’t be able to keep any documents from the 2021 edition under lockdown. I paid for those tickets, but in the end never got them. Some of them have already been refunded.”
Nor does he console him that he will now have to watch everything on TV instead of in the stands. However, the Olympics remain a sacred period for Urban.
“I definitely plan the first week to set the alarm to go off at 3 am because the swimming competitions end before 5.30 am. We are lucky that we also have a TV in the bedroom.”
He secretly hopes the coronavirus will be under control soon. “I would still like to attend the World Championships in Athletics in Belgrade and the World Swimming Championships in Fukuoka next year.” JW