Despite the challenges and complications of a global pandemic, Japan has pulled through, having successfully held the most anticipated sporting event in the world with flying colors.

As our beloved host country for more than half a decade now played host to the 2020 (yes, it happened in 2021 but is still 2020) Olympics, we were also making memories for ourselves. The kids were blessed that summer vacation allowed them to cover much of the games, enjoying themselves with the ones they knew and played, as well as getting acquainted with the ones they didn’t know. Uri was always updated with the medal tallies, while Iva absorbed herself with the intricacies of various sports and listening to the Japanese commentaries and translating many of them for us. They easily gave their love and support for our host and home bets, joining them in their victories and sympathizing with them in their defeats. As the games played out, every space in the house was also turned into a sporting venue and bedtime was filled with judo matches.

“Faster, higher, stronger – together” is the new olympic motto. I believe it not only resonates with the kids as they pursue their own dreams, especially their journey as brother and sister, but also with us as a family in our life journey.

Ah, olympic talks and dreaming big – always inspiring and anecdotally fun!

Iva, stretching for her gymnastics dreams
Uri, in his freestyle swimming face

A long way to go

Iva, at the long jump athletics event: “Wow, she jumped 15 meters! That’s how far I throw (a softball) already!”

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“Guys, this is the highest level that you can reach with the gymnastics that you are doing now,” I told the kids, while watching the floor exercise event.

Then they started getting technical: “Whoa! She did a cartwheel, then handspring, and flipped in the air!”

“That was a cartwheel without hands!”

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“Daddy, he just did a handstand before diving!” Uri knew how hard it is training to do a handstand, how much more with doing it at three floors high before free-falling into the water!

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Love for Japan and Philippines

Iva: I wish Japan and Philippines will never fight.

Then, Japan and Philippines box for gold in women’s featherweight boxing.

Uri: I don’t know who to cheer for anymore! It’s hard!

Iva: I agree with Uri – it’s hard!

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Silver medal

“I only want silver because I like the color,” Iva said as the top athletes were being awarded their medals.

“That’s interesting,” we told her but, of course, not without the talk on striving to be and becoming the best.

Then, the Philippines bags its first-ever gold medal in Hidilyn Diaz, at the 55-kg women’s weightlifting event. Iva gets news of her instant loot.

“What, for winning the gold, she will get PhP30 million (as of then), and a new house?” Iva exclaimed, as she had been wanting and praying for a house of our own for some time now.

Yeah, honey. So, you might want to rethink that silver medal!

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Human pictograms

The kids’ Olympics project: their version of the human pictograms, which was presented at the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics
Human pictogram #1: archery
Human pictogram #2: athletics
…and a few more human pictograms in video.