Could they also be considering hiring Goku as one of the relay runners?

Few things build up excitement for the Olympic Games as much as the Opening Ceremonies, and one of the most traditional events of the Opening Ceremonies is the relay of the Olympic Torch, which starts long before the games in order to finish at the Opening Ceremonies. Traveling tens of thousands of miles by land, sea, and air, the Olympic torch is typically carried from the origin fire in Olympia, Greece to that year’s Olympic location.

In the case of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, that means the flame will be traveling halfway across the earth to Tokyo, while highlighting some of Japan’s most beloved cultural assets and landmarks along the way. But the Tokyo Olympic Committee has run across a little snafu, since some of Tokyo’s most unique spots are on remote islands, like Tokyo’s “tropical paradise” Ogasawara Islands and “natural planetary island” Aogashima, and bringing a lit flame by torch across the open sea multiple times sounds rather risky.

That’s probably why the Torch Relay division of the Olympic Committee is reportedly considering “Instant Transmission” to get the flame from one island to a next, instead of carrying it across the sea. What’s instant transmission? It’s the ability that Son Goku and many other characters have in the Dragon Ball series to teleport themselves from one place to another instantly.

▼ During one of Goku’s fights with Cell in Dragon Ball Z, he blew everyone away when he used instant transmission while holding on to a Kame Hame Ha.

Sadly, that doesn’t mean that they’re hiring Goku to teleport with the flame from island to island; instead, they’re thinking of extinguishing the flame in one place while simultaneously lighting it in another. While that sounds a little less cool than actual instant transmission, it could be a great way to save time and minimize the risk of the torch going out during the journey, since it takes more than 25 hours on choppy waters to get to Tokyo from the main island of Ogasawara.

But it’s Olympic tradition that the flame never be extinguished, and the only time the flame was not transported entirely to its destination was in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Ottawa, when it was transmitted via electronic transmission. Scientists used a sensor to detect the flame’s ionized particles, which were transported to Canada via satellite pulses, where a laser “reignited” the flame once the pulses were received from Europe.

That’s a pretty cool scientific way to go about it, so by comparison the Tokyo Olympic Committee’s idea sounds a little bit boring. Nevertheless, calling it “Instant Transmission” is a clear reference to Dragon Ball, one of Japan’s most famous anime of all time, and featuring a “Dragon Ball technique” in the Olympic Torch Relay would be pretty epic.

▼ Goku also used Instant Transmission later to transport Cell to King Kai’s Planet moments before Cell exploded himself, thereby saving the world from the blast.

Japanese netizens, however, were not super impressed with the idea:

“Then they should just do instant transmission right to the goal.”
“They must have gotten a taste of success from Abe’s Mario cosplay.”
“Why don’t they just put a treadmill on a boat?”
“So does that mean they are having Goku’s voice actress Masako Nozawa light the cauldron after using instant transmission to get there?”
“What do they think a relay is?”
“Are they planning to make the runners train with Goku?”
“I wonder if this is another way for them to save costs?”

But even though the “instant transmission” idea may be a less dramatic way to transport the torch, I still think it would be cool to see Goku’s iconic ability represented in the Torch Relay, especially since Goku is one of the mascots chosen for the 2020 Olympics. Maybe they’ll even use some cool original animation to execute it! Now that would be a Torch Relay to remember.

Source: Kyodo News via Hachima Kikou
Image: YouTube/0505 mb540k