No spectators in Tokyo for Olympics

Published on July 8th, 2021

Tokyo, Japan (July 8, 2021) – The Tokyo Olympics will be held without spectators at venues in the Japanese capital due to a spike in coronavirus infections, Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said today after organizers made the unprecedented decision just two weeks ahead of the opening of the global sporting event.

The announcement, abandoning their earlier plan to stage the Olympics in front of a limited number of fans, came after the Japanese government decided to put Tokyo under another state of emergency until August 22, amid rising concern the games could trigger a further surge in infections.

The new policy of barring spectators in the host city was agreed on at a meeting attended by International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach and representatives of the four bodies, the games organizing committee, the International Paralympic Committee, as well as the Japanese and Tokyo metropolitan governments.

“It is extremely regrettable that the games will be staged in a very limited manner in the face of the spread of novel coronavirus infections,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the organizing committee said. “I am very sorry for ticket holders and local residents who were looking forward to the games.”

At the outset of the virtual meeting, which was open to the press, Bach said he and IPC chief Andrew Parsons continue to be “committed” to delivering the games safely with the Japanese organizers.

“We have shown this responsibility since the day of the postponement,” Bach said. “And we will also show it today, and we will support any measure which is necessary to have a safe and secure Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Japanese people and all the participants.” – Full story

Editor’s note: What is not clear is the inclusion of fans at venues outside of Tokyo. The sailing events are being held in Enoshima, which is 30 miles to the southwest of Tokyo. However, any fans would only be from Japan as international spectators had been completely banned in March 2021, but with the state of emergency including Enoshima’s region, the fan-friendly medal race venue might be empty too.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
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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