Tokyo Olympics 2021: Is Tokyo heading for a ‘closed’ Olympics? | Tokyo Olympics Information


NEW DELHI: When the Tokyo Olympics had been postponed to 2021 final yr, no person knew what life could be like a yr on from that point. Vaccines had been being checked out as the final word safety. The vaccines have arrived and are nonetheless one of the best saviour in sight, however the development of mutations of the Covid-19 virus has threatened to interrupt that firewall at some ranges.
In between all this, the indications from the Worldwide Olympic committee (IOC) and the organising committee in Japan have been that they’re positive about pulling off the Video games. However what could be the character of the Olympics in that case? It definitely might be removed from a ‘pageant’.
An estimated US$15.4 billion trip on the rescheduled Olympics, however the majority of its burden rests with the taxpayers in Japan. That, and extra importantly the rising menace of Covid-19 to human life and a stretched medical infrastructure, has led to voices of opposition in opposition to the Tokyo Olympics.
STATE OF EMERGENCY
On Wednesday, Tokyo reported 621 new Covid-19 instances. It would not sound a lot for a metropolis with 37 million folks. However what’s going to make the organisers sweat is when that determine is seen within the context of the Olympics starting July 23, lower than three months from now.
Tokyo is presently in a state of emergency, which has been prolonged until Could 31 in Tokyo, Osaka prefecture and neighbouring prefectures of Hyogo and Kyoto.
Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike had earlier referred to as for the state of emergency to be prolonged.
“We aren’t in a scenario during which the state of emergency will be lifted. We consider it’s a necessity to increase the measure,” Koike had advised reporters.
Talking to TimesofIndia.com in regards to the present scenario, the coach of the Japanese males’s hockey staff, Siegfried Aikman, mentioned each time Tokyo had a state of emergency, the variety of optimistic instances went down. He sees no cause why that will not occur even with the virus mutating quickly.

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(Dutchman Siegfried Aikman, coach of the Japan males’s hockey staff, is optimistic in regards to the Olympics going forward – Fb picture)
“I feel on a scale like this, with the inhabitants Tokyo has, [even] 1000 instances is just not a lot. However it’s nonetheless alarming and so they [the government] are engaged on it. I hope that it is going to be managed in a month’s time. Each time they’d a lockdown [emergency], numbers quickly went down,” mentioned Aikman, who not too long ago travelled together with his staff to Malaysia for a pleasant tour.
COVID ENTERS TORCH RELAY
The variety of infections with folks concerned within the Olympic Torch Relay has gone as much as eight. Two of these instances had been reported in April and 6 to this point in Could.

The six people discovered optimistic currently helped the relay within the southern prefecture of Kagoshima whereas helping with site visitors management.
NURSES ANGRY
The Tokyo Olympics organisers not too long ago made a request for 500 nurses to assist with the medical set-up for the Video games, nevertheless it enraged the nurses who’re already feeling stretched within the efforts they proceed to place in to deal with Covid-19 sufferers.
With Tokyo already below a state of emergency due to the rising variety of instances, a requirement for medical personnel has been termed “insensitive.”

Nurses-AP-photo

(Nurses throughout Japan have expressed displeasure on the Olympics organising committees request for 500 nurses on the Video games – AP Picture)
“Past feeling anger, I used to be shocked on the insensitivity,” Mikito Ikeda, a nurse in Nagoya in central Japan, advised the Related Press. “It exhibits how human life is being taken evenly.”
“It is arduous for any hospital to go with out even one nurse, and so they need 500. Why do they suppose that is even potential?” Ikeda questioned.
An announcement from the Japan Federation of Medical Staff’ Unions mentioned Olympics shouldn’t be the main focus in occasions of a pandemic.
“I’m extraordinarily infuriated by the insistence of pursuing the Olympics regardless of the danger to sufferers’ and nurses’ well being and lives,” mentioned the federation’s secretary, Susumu Morita.
Including to that, Haruo Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo Medical Affiliation, mentioned internet hosting the Olympics is “extraordinarily troublesome”.
“We’ve got heard sufficient of the religious argument about wanting the Video games. This can be very troublesome to carry the Video games with out growing infections, each inside and out of doors Japan,” Ozaki was quoted as saying by the Related Press.
22 RUGBY PLAYERS IN JAPAN TEST POSITIVE
In the meantime, twenty-two gamers from the Ricoh Black Rams staff of the Japan High League (Rugby Union competitors in Japan) examined optimistic for Covid-19 final week, which pressured their playoff quarterfinal in opposition to Suntory Sungoliath to be cancelled.
As reported by Kyodo Information, 9 of these instances got here to gentle final Wednesday and 13 on Friday.

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(The Japanese public, on the whole, is in opposition to the Olympics going forward in the midst of a pandemic – Picture by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty-Photographs)
The rugby sport was scheduled to happen at Showa Denko Dome, which is positioned within the metropolis of Oita on Kyushu Island. Though greater than 1000 km separate the venue from Tokyo, the occasion does elevate doubts over the efficacy of bio-bubbles for an occasion as huge because the Olympics.
Hockey coach Aikman, nevertheless, differs.
“We [Japan men’s hockey team] had been in Malaysia final week; we had been in a bubble and that works very nicely,” the Dutchman advised Timesofindia.com. “It is vital that everyone [coming to the Olympics] goes right into a bubble. Even the journalists, or individuals who come, if they arrive from a bubble or are vaccinated, then it must be okay.”
NINE JAPAN GOVERNORS ‘EDGY’ ABOUT OLYMPICS
The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper despatched a questionnaire to the governors of all 47 prefectures in Japan not too long ago. 9 of them really feel the Video games should be both cancelled or postponed if the danger from Covid-19 will increase. Amongst these 9 are the prefectures of Saitama, Shizuoka and Yamanashi, that are dwelling to a number of the Olympic competitors venues.
The landlocked Saitama prefecture will host the golf, basketball, soccer and capturing competitions. Saitama’s governor, Motohir Ono, sounded guarded in regards to the Olympics in his remark to the newspaper.

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(The state of emergency in Tokyo has been prolonged till Could 31 – Picture by Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Photographs)
“We’re offering probably the most venues after Tokyo. Whereas doing our greatest to organize a secure and safe occasion, we have to keep watch over the scenario and calmly decide,” Ono mentioned.
Governor of the Shizuoka prefecture, Heita Kawakatsu, in the meantime advised Mainichi: “If infections proceed spreading and it turns into clear for all to see that holding the Video games is unattainable, then we’ll haven’t any selection however to cancel or postpone.”
Shizuoka will present the venue for the biking competitors.
WHAT AN ATHLETE’S LIFE AT THE TOKYO OLYMPICS MIGHT LOOK LIKE
Rowing athletes are presently in Tokyo for the Asia-Oceania Olympic and Paralympic Qualification Regatta, which started on Could 5. It additionally marked the opening of the rowing course in Tokyo Bay, which may even be used for the Video games. However one factor keenly checked out in regards to the occasion is the character of the restrictive atmosphere during which the athletes should stay and its impact.
In brief, the occasion gives a window to what an athlete’s keep on the Tokyo Olympics might appear to be.
A report revealed alongside these strains within the South China Morning Put up (SCMP) traced the journey of Hong Kong rowers who had been a part of the three-day occasion in Tokyo.

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(The rowing Olympic and paralympic qualifying occasion was held on the Tokyo Bay from Could 5 to 7 – Picture by World Rowing Twitter)
After their flight landed on the Narita airport, the passengers had been separated into high-risk and non-high-risk nations, says the SCMP report. It adopted stamping and approval of their Covid-19 certificates from the take a look at they underwent lower than 72 hours earlier than departing from the purpose of origin.
The passengers had been then directed to a different station the place they had been instructed to put in sure cellular purposes on their cellphones, in order that the authorities might monitor their location and motion in the course of the course of the keep.
The arrival course of was then adopted by one other Covid-19 take a look at, however a speedy one solely. As soon as the passengers cleared that, they had been permitted to proceed for immigration.
On the resort, the athletes checked into particular person rooms and will go away their room just for meals and for journey to and from Tokyo Bay.
For meals, gamers from totally different nations weren’t allowed to take a seat alongside one another. Every participant needed to sit and eat on the identical desk as his staff members, however “separated by partitions”.
“However we aren’t allowed to speak to one another whereas consuming,” Hong Kong’s head rowing coach, Chris Perry, advised SCMP. “And we have to eat shortly as a result of every slot is just half-hour. After which the following batch is available in to eat.
“It’s a bit like a jail; it’s not a number of enjoyable, clearly. It’s slightly bit depressing. Even within the resort, the coaches and physio can not go to the athletes’ rooms and so they can not see us, so we will’t work together with our personal staff.”
COULD IT BE A ‘CLOSED’ OLYMPICS – JUST ATHLETES, OFFICIALS AND SUPPORT STAFF?
It will not be mistaken to anticipate a fully closed Olympics in gentle of the current pandemic scenario, if the Video games do occur on the rescheduled dates of July 23 to August 8 this yr.
The organisers have launched an up to date ‘media playbook’, and had earlier banned abroad followers altogether. The choice on whether or not to permit Japanese followers into the venues or not might be taken in June.

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(Protestors demonstrating in opposition to the Olympics in Tokyo – AP Picture)
However Aikman is hopeful no less than some followers would be capable to attend the Video games.
“I do not suppose it must be a very closed, very inflexible system,” mentioned the Japan hockey coach. “Within the stadiums in Japan, in the event that they scale back the [permitted] capability to half or one-third, there nonetheless will be sufficient social distancing [in the stands]. If folks show that they examined adverse, then why should not they be allowed to come back and watch so long as they observe fundamental guidelines [Covid-appropriate behaviour].”
Aikman, nevertheless, added a rider that if the presence of followers at venues is deemed “too harmful”, then it is not a threat value taking.
“Public well being is most vital. You shouldn’t take threat whether it is too harmful,” he mentioned.
However it was the remark by Hong Kong’s rowing coach, Perry to SCMP that put into perspective every thing taken collectively in regards to the destiny of the Olympics.
“At first folks had been whingeing about all types of issues, however I feel everyone is aware of it’s both that or no occasion,” Perry mentioned.





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