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Tokyo 2020: Peering behind the curtain

Published on May 4th, 2021

When closely connected with sports, it is possible to view past the agony and ecstasy of competition and peer behind the curtain. Elite sport is far from just sport these days, and the Olympics is far from its humble beginnings in Athens, Greece.

As Japan struggles to overcome the grip of COVID-19, Stephen Wade, an Associated Press sports writer assigned to the Olympics, shares on twitter his observations regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on May 3, 2021:

1. Number of medical people needed to pull off Tokyo Olympics is staggering. 10,000 needed organizers say. Now they want 500 more nurses. Yesterday saw request for 200 sports medicine specialists to volunteer. This in middle of pandemic when Japan is experiencing record cases.

2. The contortions to pull this off — and costs — are eye popping. Also lots of reports of room space set aside for those who fall ill. Official bill for Olympics is $15.4 billion. Likely much larger. Taxpayers on hook for most. Meanwhile. Almost no one vaccinated in Japan.

3. Why are Olympics happening? Because the IOC must have its billions in TV money to operate its sports business. So these will be Olympics in which all that matters is getting it on TV with athletes as the actors sent into Tokyo. Japan pays costs. IOC reaps benefits.

Tokyo 2020 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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