Sports unite humanity in a single language: soccer, cycling, swimming or tennis manage to become a universal language that connects countries, even distant and opposing ones, around the competition, the triumph or the emotion of winning a medal. And there is nothing like the magnificence of the Olympic Games, which focus the world’s attention especially because they are held in Japan, a country full of symbolism and beauty.
Behind the sporting experience of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that will make the 206 participating countries vibrate, there is also the possibility of getting to know the places where those athletes who leave everything in the competitions to fill their nations with pride come from. And in that, for sure, Colombia will give something to talk about.
Colombia, the most welcoming place on Earth, as its Country Brand manifesto is known, arrived in Japan with 71 Olympians and 69 Paralympians who have trained for years in the Andean mountains full of biodiversity, in the midst of immense coffee plantations where the world’s softest bean is harvested, or on the shores of the Caribbean Sea.
In Japan, Colombian athletes have also been welcomed by different host cities, with which activities have been carried out to bring the regions of both countries closer together. Currently, the cities of Kazo and Chichibu in Saitama and Kitakyushu in Kyushu are hosting athletes from different disciplines. The city of Kazo prepared organic vegetables and specially fed pork so that the Colombian athletes could enjoy the food of this region. In appreciation, Colombia delivered organic bananas donated by the Daabon Organic company.
Colombian Base Camps
Under the format of Base Camps: Colombia’s aim is for residents in Japan to experience the South American country through its products. For this purpose, three establishments specialized in selling 100% Colombian products will open their doors to show the best of the country.
Lohas Beans, is a store near the new Olympic Stadium and there you can enjoy coffee from the Magdalena region accompanied by banana chips from Urabá and Juan Valdez coffee in different presentations. Chocolate Bank by Maison Cacao, located in Kamakura, will be a strategic point of the Colombian experience in which there will be a special menu with avocado hass and ‘cacao fino de aroma’. Also, Cacao Hunters, located in the emblematic Tokyo train station, will offer chocolates from different regions such as the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (near the Caribbean Sea) and Tumaco, a region in the southwest of the country. These establishments will be adorned with Colombian handicrafts and preserved flowers.
Through a stamp rally in which participants will contest by collecting stamps that they will get in these stores, the aim is to spark curiosity about Colombian athletes and products. The participants who collect the most stamps will be able to obtain Colombian souvenirs at the Colombian Embassy and participate in a raffle for four trips to Colombia via American Airlines.
“We want each spectator to enjoy in the three Base-Camps the most similar experience of the Colombian culture. The 140 athletes representing us in Tokyo are a reflection of the constant work, dedication, passion and talent that we Colombians have. We want to showcase our athletes, their disciplines and their achievements, which are proof of the passion and tenacity of the Colombian people and, through them, we also want them to know about the touristic sites and export products that we have not only for Japan, but for the whole world”, says Flavia Santoro, president of ProColombia, the state agency that promotes tourism, investment, exports and the country brand.
Colombia is a country in transformation and the world has acknowledged this. Eight countries in 2019 made positive changes in their travel warnings towards Colombia. The United States, France, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Israel, South Korea and Japan are the markets that have seen improvements in the country’s safety situation.
The Olympic games begins and will be joined by great Colombian athletes such as bmx queen Mariana Pajón, athlete Anthony Zambrano, boxer Céiber Ávila, and tennis player María Camila Osorio. The legacy they will leave will not only be due to their talent: they are the best ambassadors of the most welcoming place on Earth.
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