Tokyo 2020: Postponed but risks remain
Published on July 13th, 2020
Success at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics may have as much to do with skill and preparation as staying healthy during the rescheduled dates from July 23 to August 8, 2021.
While bringing together 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries and regions has health risks under normal conditions, more health officials in Japan have expressed concerns that Tokyo 2020 could pose a greater health risk to the public.
After being postponed a year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, concerns have been raised that the global health crisis will not have subsided to a suitable level by 2021, particularly with countries at varying stages of managing their national response.
“Infection will flare up if we push ahead with the Olympics and hold them,” Daiichi Morii, a doctor at Osaka University Hospital’s infection control team, said to Reuters. “There is no doubt about it.
“The virus is barely under control as we are putting a halt on the inflow of people from overseas. With events like the Olympics, the virus will come in for sure and the number of infections will shoot up inevitably.”
Reuters also quoted Atsuo Hamada, a professor at Tokyo Medical University Hospital, who warned that even if a vaccine was developed prior to the Games it is “near impossible for it to go around the world.”
A total of 21,129 coronavirus cases have been reported in Japan since the outbreak began, with 982 deaths recorded in the country. While the number of cases in Tokyo has largely remained low, the capital city has seen a spike in the past week.
Tokyo has reported 206 new coronavirus cases on July 12 which marks the fourth successive day the number of new cases has passed the 200 mark, with a record 224 reported on July 9.
The benefit for the Sailing competitors is that aside from the Opening Ceremonies, they will be 60 kilometers outside of Tokyo in Enoshima, but there remain risks within their venue, housing, and eating options.
Tokyo 2020 has vowed to prioritize the health and safety of athletes, spectators, stakeholders, volunteers and staff ahead of the Games. Organizers have also pledged to reduce the cost impact of postponement and promote public interest.
Tokyo 2020 will simplify and reduce the complexity of the Games to ensure they can be organized efficiently, safely and sustainably, officials said.
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