Ron Isbell was excited about his 13th Olympics.
“It was going to be my lucky number 13. I’ve been to the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games, 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympic Games, 2000 SydneySummer Olympic Games, 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games, 2006 Torino Winter Olympic Games, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games, 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, 2012 London Summer Olympics, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games and 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games,” Isbell said.
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Yes. He can name them all from memory. His chance to add to the list halted by the ongoing pandemic.
“March of this year, they said they were going to do the Olympics, but they were not going to allow foreign spectators into Tokyo. So that was even more painful than when it got postponed last year,” Isbell said.
He had been preparing for the Tokyo Olympics since 2013, when he attended the official Olympic announcement watch party, in Japan.
“I kind of had been hearing rumors that they were going to be awarded the 2020 games, so I just went over and went to the watch party. I think I was the only American there,” Isbell said. “And then they got it. So, I started planning my trip then. Getting my plane ticket and hotel and everything ready.”
Just like the Olympics, lucky number 13 will be delayed for Isbell.
“It’s painful now just to see the commercials advertising the upcoming games and knowing I’m not going to be able to go,” he said.
His love for the Olympics goes back more than the two decades he has been attending them in person.
“I’ve always liked the Games since I was a long-distance runner. Then, I actually won tickets to the Olympics in Calgary and loved it so much I made it a tradition,” Isbell said.
Isbell said number 13 may be delayed, but he is already planning the trip. He has already bought his plane tickets and hotel room for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. He just hopes he will be allowed to go.