Tokyo 2020: Onward until we can’t
Published on January 12th, 2021
The head of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, Yoshiro Mori, may be the captain of a sinking ship. If we’ve learned anything in the past year, it’s not to underestimate COVID-19. Nobody thought the Titanic could sink either.
“Having even a slight sense of uncertainty impacts everything,” said Mori. “All I can say is that we will go ahead with our preparations. There will always be morning even after a long night. Let’s work together to overcome this major challenge.”
Reminds us of the words said by Titanic Captain Edward John Smith, “Even God himself couldn’t sink this ship,” before he drove the ship into a known area of ice.
Mori admits its “absolutely impossible” to postpone this year’s Summer Games again due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, so onward he goes until he either runs into ice or arrives in port.
A tougher decision in the coming months may be whether to admit overseas fans during the Olympics and Paralympics based on the situation of the pandemic. Considering the desperate need for income, permitting spectators could become a hot topic.
In early December, Japanese government-led panel discussing anti-virus steps at the Olympics said it has been considering exempting fans from Japan’s 14-day quarantine requirement if they are from countries with relatively fewer virus cases.
But the situation has changed significantly since then. Japan has been grappling with record numbers of coronavirus infections, with a state of emergency declared for Tokyo and three adjacent prefectures.
In addition, Japan and many other countries have confirmed coronavirus variant cases in recent weeks.
Just dealing with the competition will be an enormous task with more than 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from 200 nations and territories that have to enter Japan, along with ten of thousands of other officials, coaches, and judges.
“If I get caught up in my thoughts, or if I flinch, or get a little lost in my mind — it affects everything,” Mori said. “We have to proceed as planned. There is no other way to respond.”
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