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Olympic Organizers Make Major Announcement On 2020 Tokyo Summer Games; CNN Hero Connects With Students Who Struggle With Traditional Learning; Long-Lost Surfboard Finds Way Back To Owner. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired March 22, 2021 - 04:00   ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: A new restriction on the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics. That`s where we start the week here on CNN 10. I`m Carl Azuz.

Thank you for watching. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of problems for these games.

They`re still called the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but while they were originally scheduled to start on July 24th of last year. They`ve been postponed until

July 23rd of this summer with the Paralympics scheduled to begin on August 24th.

The Olympic Organizing Committee just announced over the weekend that spectators from other countries will not be allowed. People who already

bought tickets will get their money back and it`s not clear yet how many people from Japan will be able to attend the games.

The reason for the new restriction according the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees is that the international COVID situation is still

very challenging and that international travel is still severely restricted.

Organizers say the decision will help keep the games safe and secure but it could hurt Japan economically without the visits and spending by

international tourists that usually benefit Olympic hosts. The decision to delay the games has already taken a toll on some athletes though others are

grateful for the extra training time.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Olympic fencer Leo Miaki (ph) took up a new job last year, delivering food for Uber Eats to make extra cash and stay in shape

during the pandemic. His training stopped for several months after Tokyo announced the postponement of the Olympics. He`s since resumed practice but

the physical and mental challenges remain.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: It`s like running a full marathon for four years. Adding another year is like we have to keep on running before

reaching the goal.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the Olympic games just months away, it`s still unclear how Japan plans to hold the games safely. While the Japanese

government has vowed the games will go ahead, a poll in January by public broadcaster NHK found that 77 percent of people in Japan think the games

should be cancelled or further postponed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it`s quite risky to hold the Olympics in Japan at this stage. But I think all athletes understand that safety is the first

priority and I don`t think there are any athletes who want to compete in the Olympics no matter what.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At stake are tens of billions of dollars and Japan`s national pride but for athletes a lifetime of dedication hangs in balance

as does their mental well being.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: When we started to see more and more Olympic athletes and aspiring Olympic athletes coming through our support system and having

to put yourself through not only the level of training that these athletes are working at, six, seven days a week. But also to stay as mentally hungry

and driven in trying to reach a goal that isn`t actually finalized and fixed at a set date and time is really, really tough and eventually that

will take its toll on the mental health of these -- of these Olympians.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But sport climber Akio No Gucci (ph) was happy to have an extra year of practice. She was planning to retire after the Tokyo 2020

games when sport climbing was supposed to make its Olympic debut. She`s pushed back her retirement by one year in order to make the Olympics the

last competition of her career.


AZUZ: 10 Second Trivia. Which of these nations is estimated to have the highest literacy rate? China, Slovenia, Malta or South Africa. The U.S.

Central Intelligence Agency estimated that Slovenia has the highest literacy rate on this list at 99.7 percent.

When COVID hit, so many charities and non-profit organizations found themselves in the same boat. How do they continue helping people when in-

person interactions are limited? Like a lot of schools out there, a group called "Eye to Eye" went virtual.

That way it could keep connecting students who have learning disabilities or students who learn differently with mentors who share their struggles.

The organization`s founder David Flink is a CNN Hero.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) like that I can`t talk right or like I`m dumb. No, I`m just unique in my own ways. Everybody is unique in their own

ways if you think about it.

DAVID FLINK, CNN HERO: I remember fondly really loving school and that feeling ended probably first or second grade. I didn`t know that I have

dyslexia. I didn`t know I had ADHD and I could either be the dumb kid or I could be the bad kid. Instead of sitting there and feeling dumb, I just

started acting out. (Inaudible).

We think it would be best for you and all of us if you went to the hallway to finish that assignment. At one point literally my desk was moved to the

hallway. I had this message sent to me that I didn`t belong in the classroom but there was a guy in the school, cleaned the floors and the

timing of me being outside the classroom and him, like, cleaning the hallway. There was a lot of time together.

When Jim the janitor just stopped to talk to me, it was probably the most human experience I can remember at that point in my life. It was just a

kind person who saved me. I felt like people had invested in me despite challenges, I made it and went on to Columbia to get a graduate degree in

education because I wanted to help make school better for kids. I struggle a ton with spelling. Do you have any of that? Or is that not --


FLICK: Fifty percent of students in high school, if you have a learning disability, end up in the juvenile justice system. Where do we want our

students to end up in prison or contributing members of society? I had a responsibility to go give back.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Today`s project is the utility belt. So we`re going to be thinking of things that help us in the classroom and out of the


FLICK: (Inaudible) art supplies. "Eye to Eye" is a national program that matches college and high school students who have all types of learning

disabilities with young people of all types of learning disabilities. We have 150 chapters in 23 states now. Drawing. How about drawing?


FLICK: You just know that about yourself. That`s great. "Eye to Eye" provides a safe space that`s constructed around what`s right with kids so

they can talk about their experiences. So you`re distracted easily.

What else gets in your way? What was tough for you to overcome? We use art as a way to help facilitate that conversation. Middle school is really

where kids -- they have the maturity to say, hey, this is how my brain works and I can ask for that thing.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK. So our goal is to get to the moon. What`s like a goal you have in real life?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I definitely click more with the girls in the room that are a little bit (inaudible) and shy.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We could do it like this and have the thing like this.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I like that idea. Learning differences manifest in different ways but for me I was (inaudible) ashamed of it and it kind of

led to me being super self-conscious and shy. I like see that in those girls a little bit. They`re not ones to volunteer to present first, ever.

Towards the end they`re dragging me up to the front of the room to present with them. So it`s nice to see that.

FLICK: I love it when I hear that there are kids who were struggling academically and now their grades are going up. When I hear that because

they were in "Eye to Eye", they now understand somebody else`s experience better, is different than them.

And this is what we need in America, we have to love each other across our difference. What about social studies do you like? You know all the

presidents? I think that`s a super power. Something is going very right in this school.

My moment that I am wishing for is when the problem of stigmatizing kids because they learn differently goes away. I want them to know that their

brains are beautiful. I want them to leave feeling like they know how to ask for what they need and they can do it and that`s what we give them.


AZUZ: Derimey Griffiths (ph) is a surfer who lost his favorite surfboard in 2017. At the time, he was on a monstrous wave near the Australian island of

Tasmania. He had to jump off as the wave closed down and despite looking for hours, his group never found the board.

A year and half later, two fishermen picked up the surfboard in Australian waters about 1,700 miles away from where Griffiths (ph) lost it. They held

onto it and they recently returned it to Griffiths (ph) after word finally reached him that his long-lost board was rescued at sea.

Well, that`s our wrap on "current" events. It`s amazing how they`re shaped by time and "tide" as we "drift" around the globe trying to keep you on the

"crest" of everything we`ve got on "deck" from "nose to tail". Hopefully you didn`t find anything too "boarding" because "surf`s" back up tomorrow

and we`ll hope you`ll hang CNN "10" with us again then.

West Caldwell High School is in Lenoir, North Carolina. It gets today`s shout out because folks there subscribed and commented on our You Tube

Channel. I`m Carl Azuz.