Attendance of the 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention — nearly four times what it was in 2019 — is an indication of an industry that remains hot.
The bus transporting Olympic officials and media from downtown Fukushima to the suburban Azuma Baseball Stadium features a slickly produced video boasting of the region's recovery from a devastating 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown. It includes images of ruin and reconstruction, recognition of the more than 30,000 people still evacuated from their homes, an elaborate dance number and an anime segment where a scientist helps a cartoon garlic bulb convince an ill-tempered alien that the region’s food is delicious — and free of nuclear contaminants. Such is the difficulty for Japan in telling a story to an audience barred from entering its borders.
Boxing world champion Kellie Ann Harrington said Ireland was punching above its weight at the Tokyo Games and hailed the performance of the country's rowers after they won a first Olympic gold medal in the sport. Flagbearer Harrington, who won her opening bout in the lightweight preliminaries on Friday, said the Irish team were out in force to celebrate Paul O'Donovan and Fintan McCarthy's win in the lightweight men's double sculls on Thursday. "It was fantastic," Harrington told reporters after her win by unanimous decision over Italy's Rebecca Nicoli.