TOKYO (NEXSTAR) — It’s still hard to fathom an Olympic games with no fans.
There has been some great scenes from Olympic watch parties, but the reason they are taking place is families and friends can’t travel to Tokyo to watch the games in person.
In fact, nobody can, including one Olympic super fan who had to get $15,000 work of tickets refunded.
Brad Bultman had tickets to 23 events. When COVID-19 forced Japan to close its boarders to foreigners, he was able to get his money back. Tickets, flights and a hotel have all been refunded, but Bultman says he’d rather be there.
“It’s really disappointing,” he said.
Bultman is a world traveler. He’s been to 97 countries and all seven continents, and attended his first Olympics in Rio in 2016.
“The time at the Rio Olympics was the absolute time of my life,” he said.
He was hooked when he witnessed Michael Phelps win gold.
“I started chanting ‘USA, USA,'” he said. “(Phelps) started pumping his fists, and then everybody around me started chanting ‘USA.’ I was like, ‘I started that chant, that’s so cool.'”
Those moments won’t take place in Tokyo, but the world is watching as the games get rolling and gold medals are won. The focus is on the athletes and the countries they represent.
“The Olympics is the ultimate international event,” Bultman said. “You see the world come together, it’s really, really special.”