Fears rise once again over whether the Olympics will have to be put on hold, as we enter 2021 in the same situation as in 2020, which left us with a year of a severe lack of sport. However, with the role out of vaccinations and the continuation of other global events, things are heading in the right direction for the Olympics to receive the go-ahead.
An extension to the postponement of the Olympic games would come with many complications such as the financial burden on Tokyo’s economy, the reorganisation of training schedules to ensure peak performance (which is difficult to achieve with no date for the end goal!) and finally the risk of losing that built up anticipation, that spectators develop over the 4-year wait. Again, hard to maintain when you don’t know when it is coming!
The most obvious problem with such a large-scale event is the quantity of testing that will have to be carried out. Approximately 11,237 athletes attended the Rio 2016 Olympics.
Moreover, Japan’s government’s policy states that all people staying in the athletes’ village will be tested every 96 to 120 hours. With just over 4 weeks of competing time between the Olympics and Paralympics; that will mean a lot of testing!
Other issues the Olympic committee will have to combat, involve the: isolation periods for each team member and the gathering of multiple nations from all over the world, potentially increasing the risk of transmitting the virus as a result.
Despite these issues, it seems the international Olympics committee is well underway with confident steps to ensure the games can go ahead safely.
President of the international Olympics committee, Thomas Bach, confirmed that plans such as the athletes quarantining for five days before flying to Tokyo will be put into place. Bach also claimed that the IOC will not require the athletes to have the vaccine prior to competition as it should be prioritised for those at a greater risk.
Thomas Bach also made the statement in an official International Olympic committee meeting - “if we thought we were being irresponsible and the games could not be safe, we would not go for it”.
With that in mind, the International Olympic Committee has made it known that although extensive measures are being carried out for the games to take place, this may come at the cost of closing the stadium doors to spectators to ensure the safety of everyone.
As of now, the Olympic Games are set to be celebrated from the 23rd July to the 8th August with the Paralympics running from the 24th August through to the 5th September; so let's hope we can add the Olympics to our list of summer sports viewings this year!