Behind the scenes of the Olympics. The Radio France team passed the first test: they left Tokyo airport


Poster before the Covid-19 saliva test at Tokyo airport where the Radio France group arrived to follow the 2021 Olympic Games. (FARIDA NOUAR / RADIO FRANCE)

To have the medal of this test, you have to be patient. A lot, a lot of patience. So departure from Roissy for our team and before boarding, Vincent Pellegrini, an illustrious journalist from the sports department, gave the team his good advice: “You have dinner, you sleep and you have your breakfast.” Here is the good advice of Uncle Vincent. Here we go, we get on the plane. Other athletes are also on board: French, Senegalese, Czechs. 12 hours of flight await us to link Tokyo. And Xavier Monferrand, another journalist from the service, already fears his arrival: “It’s long but it’s especially the arrival that we dread. With the hours of waiting for tests, to show the papers … At the start, it was pretty cool, we just had to show our PCR tests. “

A Hitchcock film, two films awarded at Cannes and a series later, we arrive in Tokyo. And the long wait begins. From the descent, we are supervised and controlled. You have to be able to present “Ocha”: an application imposed by the Japanese authorities with information about our identity, our hotel, our negative PCR test.

Upstream, the authorities validated our “activity plan”, that is to say the places where we plan to go, namely the Olympic venues and the Press Center. We are asked “Ocha” at each stage which last very long minutes then comes the saliva test: no food or drink 30 minutes before.

Once the small vial is full, we wait a long time before having the result to be able to recover our OJ accreditations. Then the customs since we are not allowed to take a taxi on our own initiative at the exit of the airport: a bus is waiting for us and it still lasts many minutes. Fanny Lechevestrier, another eminent journalist from the sports department, is at the end of her life : “I can’t take any more. Roll on the bed!”

The bus takes us to the city center where we have to take a reserved taxi: only one person per car even if we are from the same group and have traveled together: instructions from the authorities, due to health measures. Finally we arrive: it is 5 pm. Seven hours will have passed between our landing and arrival at the hotel in Tokyo.

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