In what is a glimmer of hope to many, the torch relay for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics is all set to kick off in a month.
Around this time last year, the Olympic flame for the Tokyo Olympics was lit during the flame lighting ceremony behind closed doors at the birthplace of ancient Olympics in southern Greece.
But as fate may have it, only five days after Greece handed over the Olympic flame to the host city, the grandest sporting spectacle was put on ice as the world scrambled to get to grips with the Covid-19 outbreak.
On March 24 last year, Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe and IOC president Thomas Bach postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by about one year, in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Much to the dismay of participating athetes and organisers, this was the first time that the games were postponed in 124 years of the modern Olympics.
Torch relay to begin on March 25
The torch relay will begin on March 25 from the northeastern prefecture of Fukushima and travel through Tokyo from July 9 to 23.
The officials of the Tokyo Olympics have unveiled a set of rules governing how the torchbearers and fans move about and interact to avoid the spread of the virus.
As Japan marks the tenth anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that left more than 18,000 dead and missing, the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics will showcase the recovery of the worst-affected areas, in alignment with the notion of 'Hope Lights Our Way'.
Earlier this month, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organisers announced a rule-book underlining strict rules in place for the participants in a bid to hold the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in the safest possible manner.