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Tokyo 2020: Searching for optimism

Published on July 7th, 2020

It was before the Tokyo 2020 Games were postponed when we published Tokyo 2020: Let the show go on (March 5, 2020) during a time when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was determining how to host the competition amid the threat of the COVID-19 disease.

As the concern with Tokyo 2020 was the mass of people from around the world coming together, we asked why not just eliminate the spectators. With something like 11,000 athletes competing, they aren’t nearly the issue as compared with an estimated 600,000 tourists from around the world set to descend upon Tokyo.

As the Olympic Games has become a “made for television” event, with the Rio 2016 Olympics attracting 3.6 billion viewers, we thought that postponing or cancelling the 2020 Games to protect 2/10000 of interested parties required a better solution… like not allowing spectators.

Now four months later, and following the decision on March 24 to postpone one year, guess what is being suggested by the IOC? Limiting spectators (click here).

While that would deny the locals from attending an Olympics in their own country, a new survey polling Japanese residents has found that 77 per cent of those questioned believe that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics “cannot be held” next year.

Since the IOC and Tokyo 2020 have repeatedly said that the Games will not be postponed again if they cannot take place in 2021, the majority is ready to cancel the event. The poll, conducted by the Japan News Network, suggested that only 17 per cent believe that the postponed Games can take place in 2021.

To facilitate next year’s Games, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 have pledged the event will be simplified due to the ongoing financial issues caused by the pandemic. However, fears remain that the global health crisis will not have subsided to a suitable level for the start on July 23.

This sentiment might be influenced by an upturn in daily COVID-19 cases in the Japanese capital after it recorded some of its lowest daily rates in June.

Governor Yuriko Koike, who was re-elected for a second term on July 5, opened businesses again two weeks ago with the spike linked to the relaxing of the rules. From July 2 to 5, the city recorded four straight days of more than 100 new daily cases with the most recent peak coming on July 4, with 131.

When Koike announced the opening of businesses again on June 19, there were 35 daily cases. In Japan to date, there have been more than 19,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in the deaths of 977 people.


Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021


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