The Tokyo Summer Olympics were initially scheduled to take place in Summer 2020; however, the event was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic making it the first time the Olympics has ever been postponed.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that the games will commence on July 23rd, and will run through August 8th, with the Paralympic Games occurring shortly afterward. Some tournament events, like soccer, will start before the official opening ceremonies.
Though the postponement originally frustrated many athletes and fans, many are happy that the games will take place at all due to the overall unprecedented nature of the pandemic. There is still a mass amount of uncertainty due to questions about vaccination, qualification procedures, and spectators. Additionally, other towns in Japan plan to host events such as road cycling and surfing, but it is unclear how COVID protocols will be implemented outside of the capital.
The IOC says that athletes will be required to stay within the Olympic Village and the use of public transportation is prohibited. Testing and temperature screenings will be conducted and readily available the entire time. Anyone who violates the rules set out by the IOC may be sent home.
Regardless of all the measures in place, many still doubt the games will actually occur. Japanese health officials have expressed their concern over the volume of foreigners entering the country and have insisted no fans be allowed. There is also a lack of public support. Still, Japan’s Prime Minister says he hopes the games will give “hope and courage” to the world.
By: Johanna Murphy ‘23, Staff Writer