The Olympics is the ultimate event for sports enthusiasts around the world. But this year, fans will have to cheer and scream in front of their screens. Kazunori Takishima looked forward to witnessing the games in his hometown Tokyo and had already bought 197 tickets for him and his friends. But a ban on spectators had to be implemented during the event to ensure everyone’s safety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

Takishima’s passion for the Olympics started in 2005 after he attended a figure ice skating competition. “Seeing Shizuka Arakawa claim a gold medal inspired me so much,” he said. Since then, he has attended every Olympic game to support Japan. The 45-year-old who works as a real estate businessman expressed his disappointment in Tokyo’s organizing commitee for their decision to ban the audience. The money he spent on the tickets can be refunded but not his excitement. “All I have now is sadness; I cry every time I look at the tickets,” he said.

Takishima also lost his chance this year to set a Guinness World Record for attending the most Olympic competitions. But his spirit, just like an athlete’s, is unwavering, as he is determined to try again. “I will continue to visit and support the Olympics until the day I die,” he said. The next Olympics in 2024 will be held in Paris, France.