Kane Tanaka, who has twice survived most cancers, lived by two world pandemics and loves fizzy drinks, will take the flame because it passes by Shime, in her house prefecture of Fukuoka.
While Tanaka’s household will push her in a wheelchair for many of her 100-meter (about 328 toes) or so leg, the supercentenarian — an individual aged over 110 years outdated — is set to stroll the remaining few steps, as she passes the torch to the subsequent runner.
NCS spoke solely with Tanaka, who has a brand new pair of sneakers for the occasion — a present from her household on her birthday in January.
“It’s great she reached that age and she can still keep up an active lifestyle — we want other people to see that and feel inspired, and not to think age is a barrier,” mentioned her grandson Eiji Tanaka, who’s in his 60s.
Previous report holders for the oldest Olympic torchbearers embrace Aida Gemanque of Brazil, who lit the torch at the 2016 Rio Summer Games age 106, and desk tennis participant Alexander Kaptarenko, who ran with the torch at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games at 101 years outdated.
Life of a super-centenarian
She went on to have 4 youngsters with the rice store proprietor she married at 19 years outdated, and labored in the household retailer till she was 103. She has 5 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
She lived by two world wars and the 1918 Spanish flu, though her grandson Eiji mentioned: “I don’t remember her talking much about the past … She’s very forward thinking — she really enjoys living in the present.”
Tanaka is in no way Japan’s solely centenarian.
In Japan, girls have a life expectancy of 87.45 years in comparison with 81.4 for males, authorities figures launched in July 2020 confirmed.
“(Kane) said she wants to break that record,” mentioned Eiji Tanaka, her grandson.
Tanaka’s household mentioned she hasn’t been doing any coaching for the torch relay, however is worked up to be part of the Olympics.
“She has always loved festivals,” Eiji Tanaka mentioned.
But he warned her participation in May — which is sponsored by a Japanese life insurance coverage firm — will rely upon her well being and climate circumstances.
The torch will first undergo areas affected by the devastating 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, marking the catastrophe’s tenth anniversary, earlier than touring “around every corner of Japan,” officers mentioned.
The coronavirus restrictions embrace avoiding “the 3 Cs” — closed areas, crowded locations, and close-contact settings.
Those who want to view the relay from the roadside should put on masks, keep house in the event that they really feel unwell, and chorus from touring exterior the prefecture they dwell in.
Spectators have additionally been instructed to “support with applause … rather than by shouting or cheering.” The relay will be streamed dwell on-line.
Torchbearers will be required to fill out a day by day well being guidelines two weeks earlier than the relay and chorus from actions that will contain a threat of an infection, reminiscent of consuming out or going to crowded locations, officers suggested.
She tweets images of her great-grandmother having fun with treats reminiscent of cake and soda pop, and shares her achievements and the exchanges she has together with her relations.
“I started a Twitter feed on her because it’s quite amazing that at 118 she drinks Coca-Cola herself and plays Othello,” Junko Tanaka mentioned. “I might be biased because I’m related to her but I think it’s kind of amazing — I wanted to share that with the world and for people to feel inspired and to feel her joy.”