søndag 14. februar 2021

Tokyo Olympics: definitely going ahead unless cancelled again?

The Olympic rings have been spruced up and are once again overlooking Tokyo Bay. Countdown clocks have been reset, telling passersby there are just 171 days to go until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games begin. They are supposed to build excitement in the host city and among sports fans around the world. But Japan’s Olympic dream is quickly turning sour in the face of the worst global health crisis for a century.

Almost a year after Tokyo 2020 became the first Games to be postponed in the modern Olympics’ 125-year history, officials and politicians face opposition from the Japanese public and, crucially, scepticism among athletes, sponsors and volunteers.

As the world grapples with a pandemic that has killed more than 2 million people, the official line is that the Games will open, as planned, on 23 July. This week the organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are due to release Covid “playbooks” detailing exactly how they intend to make that happen.