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TOKYO 2020

                                                                                                                                                                        by the

            TOKYO 2020:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                      By Tim Mottram

                     osting an Olympics is a                   4%                                                                  At least 3.5 billion dollars                       of the World Health Organisation, has issued
                     Herculean task under the best of           ...the proportion of Japanese citizens                               ...the amount in broadcasting revenue the        a so-called Playbook, which outlines the
             Hcircumstances, but when you throw                vaccinated. And herein lies the problem. From                       International Olympic Committee stands to          measures that will be in place to protect the
            in a global pandemic which has seen the            an infrastructure perspective, Japan was better                     lose. The IOC is technically a not-for-profit      15,000 athletes and their support crew. Before
            deaths of nearly four million people, things       placed than any country over the past twenty                        organisation. This might paint them as a benign    even leaving their home countries, they will
            get even more complicated. What should             years to hold a successful Olympics. Of course,                     ambassador for the wholesome, embracing            submit to two Covid tests. Once in Japan, the
            be the defining sporting event of the half         the budget never quite stretches to the vision,                     nature of sporting excellence, but they are        local community will be protected by a kind
            decade has now become, more than ever, as          but all the venues were ready for 2020. When                        actually an international behemoth. The            of mass quarantine, as the Olympic Village
            much about money and politics as it is about       Covid hit, though, Japan was caught flat-footed                     numbers might be slightly obscure, but in 2016,    will be virtually cut off from the wider world.
            sporting excellence.                               and political division meant that the vaccine                       the IOC received $3.5 billion. Most of this came   Strictest hygiene will be enforced, and masks
              So, what are the stakes? What should the         rollout was slower than in many, less-developed                     from televising rights. The IOC holds all the      mandatory until the moment before an event.
            global sporting public expect, and how will        countries. Given the massive, anticipated influx                    rights to the Games, but no Games equals no        Athletes will be tested on a daily basis. Up until
            this even work? To take out the guesswork,         of athletes and staff from all across the globe,                    cash. Sponsorships are the only other revenues     June it was stated that venues will be limited to
            Touchline has crunched the numbers...              Japan remains very vulnerable to a large-scale                      for the IOC, which means there would be severe     50% capacity with a cap on capacity of 10,000
                                                               flare up of the disease.                                            financial issues if the Games do not go ahead.     spectators, but there is now pressure to exclude
            2020 or 2021?                                                                                                                                                             all fans.
              In March of 2020, when the pandemic was             Within three months, the                                         2032
            starting to reach all corners of the world, the     idea that there was “no Plan                                         ...the reported counter offer made by Japan.
            International Olympic Committee was still                                                                              It is difficult to know what has been going on         ...but most significantly,
            confirming that Tokyo would be staging the          B” was replaced by “ahem,                                          behind the closed doors of the IOC and the          there will be no cheering
            Games that summer. Within three months, the         let’s try again next year”.                                        Japanese government, but one report claims          with only clapping allowed.
            idea that there was “no Plan B” was replaced by                                                                        that a suggestion was that Tokyo would cut and
            “ahem, let’s try again next year”. All merchandise   70%                                                               run, with a view for a guaranteed hosting in 11
            and logos will reflect the fact that in July 2021, the   ...the percentage of Japanese citizens against                years. It might seem absurd to build an entire     33 Sports
            2020 Summer Olympics will be held.                 the staging of the Games in 2021. Opinion polls                     infrastructure for hosting the Olympics which       With all the noise surrounding these most
                                                               vary, but the numbers against the Games being                       would not be held for over a decade, but this      peculiar Games, it should be remembered what
            15.4 billion US dollars                            held this summer are holding steady at over                         speaks to Japan’s desperate straits. Holding       it is really all about. By the end of August, some
     the amount paid by Japan to prepare        50%. The Japanese medical field is very much                        over to 2022 was mooted, but given that it is      5,000 medals will be awarded to the world’s
            Tokyo for the Olympics. Quite a chunk of           in the “oppose” column, claiming that there                         estimated that the existing delay cost $2 billion,   best sports people. Baseball is back, alongside
            that was spent on the Olympic stadium. The         is no way the Games won’t increase the risks                        this was a non-starter for all parties. Simply put,   the traditional sports of athletics, gymnastics
            previous one hosted the enormously successful      of infection to the vulnerable population. The                      it is now or never.                                and swimming. Surfing, skateboarding, karate
            1964 Olympics, but was considered outdated         Tokyo Medical Association has urged Prime                                                                              and sport climbing are set to make their debuts.
            and torn down to make way for the so-called        Minister Suga to cancel. A petition of 400,000                      Once a day…                                        Drama and excitement are guaranteed, and
            koku-ritsu (meaning “national”). It will host the   signatures was rejected. The New England                             ....Covid tests administered to athletes. With   hopefully, amongst this surreal setting, we can
            opening and closing ceremonies as well as the      Journal of Medicine came out with a report                          no chance of turning this titanic ship around,     just enjoy the competition.
            track and field events.                            claiming that the decision to go ahead was “not                     authorities have been scrambling to arrange
                                                               informed by the best scientific evidence”. But                      the deck chairs. The IOC, under the advice
                                                               despite all this push back, there is no question
                                                               of cancellation. And here is why...

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