The morale is high in the Springbok Sevens camp, ahead of their participation in the Olympics.
The Blitzboks are still in Kagoshima, a one-hour flight south of Tokyo, but after two training sessions and some live Olympic action on local television, there is no doubt in the minds of the Springbok Sevens squad that the Olympic Games are real.
Blitzboks playmaker, Selvyn Davids, says they now can’t wait for the sevens tournament to start.
“In the beginning, it felt like damn … when the team was announced it felt like this is it. Then we flew to Japan and then the positive cases came through. It just went downhill from there, but try to stay positive and then after that isolation and now that we are on the field again it feels like it’s that time. So, (we’re) very excited. Good to be back on the training pitch and I’m pretty excited,” says Davids.
For Chris Dry, the Blitzboks’ most experienced forward, the Olympic experience remains a distant one for now. He travelled to Rio in 2016 as a back-up player, but he was never called upon to play. This time, however, it could be a different ball game.
“I don’t think I feel like an Olympian yet. I think as we build up closer to the tournament definitely getting more excited, really happy to be here and looking forward to what’s to come. Definitely starting to get that feeling, the nerves, you know, that the Olympics have started; now, it’s official. We had a little bit of a glimpse last night on TV. I think it’s becoming all more real now and the guys are super excited.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games kicked off on Wednesday, with a number of sporting codes such as baseball and soccer, getting the ball rolling.