Olympic bronze medallist Judy Pollock, a Port Fairy resident, hopes the Tokyo Olympics coverage will inspire Aussie youngsters to strive for the 2032 games in Brisbane.
She highlighted young people had so much more access to the Games than she did growing up.
"We need to inspire them for 2032 and I think they will be when they see all this because they're homeschooling at the moment in Port Fairy of course," she told The Standard earlier this week.
Pollock feels for the athletes at this year's Tokyo Olympics who are competing without crowds.
She has fond memories of the 1964 Tokyo Games where she won bronze in the 400 metres in a time of 53.4 seconds. "The Japanese, were absolutely amazing," she said of her Olympic debut.
"Whenever we left the stadium, they were outside the stadium, waving their flags, and following us everywhere. By the time we got out to the (team) bus, they would come with us and follow the buses and the school children were sitting on the side of the road - they made it so wonderful.
"And this time, none of that's going to happen. And I know that the Japanese people would have loved to have been doing all that again."
Pollock recalled great fanfare when she went to the shops or returned to her accommodation in Tokyo.
"Every shop I walked into, the people recognised you and wanted to buy you gifts and when you came home from where'd been there would be presents on your bed - they were just so hospitable.
"I'm sure they're hospitable this time, but it can't be with the same feeling because they can't come and see you and be involved with you as much."
Pollock was part of the famous 400m race which saw fellow Aussie, Betty Cuthbert, win gold.
She said she tried to spot her parents in the grandstand from the start line.
But the 24-year-old at the time couldn't see them among the thousands of cheering spectators.
"Once you got 'on your marks' the noise of the crowd, just disappeared - so I didn't miss the crowd then. And once the gun went off, everything shuts off," she said.
"You just take off and that's it you don't hear anything because you're just concentrating on what you're doing.
"It was a pretty amazing moment for me to finish with a bronze medal in my first international competition."
The Aussies had a celebration to remember.
Pollock said her parents had come over to Tokyo on the Fairstar ship and Cuthbert's parents were at the Games as well.
"Afterwards, we all got together and celebrated along with my coach, Henri Schubert," she said.
"And Pam Kilborn, she was also coached by the same fellow and she won bronze in the 80-metre hurdles."
Pollock went back to Tokyo in 2014 for the 50th celebration of that Olympics.
"They showed us all the facilities they had ready and how well prepared they were for 2020," she said.
"And how excited they all were. And then of course it's all been postponed until 2021. So I feel very sorry for them all because they were really looking forward to it. But it looks like it's going to go off all right so far."
Pollock missed the 1968 Games as she had given birth to her son, Nathan. In 2015, she told The Standard of how she missed out on competing in the 1972 Games because of a calf injury.
Pollock also competed at the 1976 Montreal Games when she was 37.
The Olympian set an Australian record for the 1500m and ran the fastest 800m of her career (1.59.9 minutes).
She retired from international athletics in 1976 but that wasn't the end of her career.
The top runner won gold in the 400, 800, 1500 and 5000m at the 1985 World Masters Games in Toronto, setting world records in the 400, 800 and 1500m.
She also won gold in the 400m at the World Veterans Track and Field titles in 1987 in Melbourne.
The track legend started her running career with Mentone Running Club.
Her mother would take her from Mt Macedon to Melborune each Saturday.
The Tokyo Olympics track and field events start on Friday and Pollock will be watching the slew of events from a caravan park in Bundaberg.
She anticipates Nicola McDermott and Eleanor Patterson will go well in high jump.
"We've got two beautiful high jumpers that could come away with a medal," she said.
Pollock believes Casterton product Kathryn Mitchell (javelin) and Brooke Stratton (long jump) will be ones to watch.
She's excited there's so many promising women in the field events.
And of course she'll be keeping a keen eye on the sprinters too.
"We've got a couple of good little sprinters in Hannah Basic," she said. "Riley Day is another one. But you know, they're up against absolutely crash hot sprinters from America and Jamaica, who put in sizzling times.
"So if those girls get to the finals, they'll be doing extremely well."
Otherwise, she expects Jessica Hull (1500m), Catriona Bisset and Morgan Mitchell (800m) to perform well.
Pollock moved to Port Fairy in 2014 to be closer to her daughter, Brooke.
She said another daughter, Breearna, had since moved to the south-west.
Her grandchildren, including promising cricketer Maddie Green (Brooke's daughter), are heavily involved in sport in the south-west.
Pollock, who participates in Port Fairy parkrun, is an ambassador for the new Port Fairy Marathon and Community Running Festival on November 14.
"As I understand they haven't had one there (Port Fairy) before, and it sounds like a fun thing to do," she said.
Pollock encouraged people to try the marathon as they will have plenty of support.
"Some people think it's too far, I'd suggest they have a go because they'd be surprised what they can do even if they've never done one before," she said.
"And the thrill you get out of finishing it is absolutely amazing."
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