More Changes to the 2021 Summer Olympics
There were some major events that did not happen because of COVID-19; the Summer 2020 Olympics was one of them. The 2020 Summer Olympics were postponed until the summer of 2021. This was the first time any Olympic games were interrupted since 1944. With the Summer Olympics only being a few months away now, they are scheduled to take place in Tokyo on July 23rd until August 8th. However, how will things be different with COVID-19?
Many people want the Olympics cancelled or postponed again. A poll, held by The Washington Post, showed that 80% “oppose holding the Tokyo Olympics this summer.” Micheal Phelps, former gold medalist, told CNN that he is having doubts about the Olympics taking this year. According to The Washington Post, the International Olympic Committee has stated that the Olympics cannot be postponed past summer of 2021 because they cannot just forever have 3,000, or 5,000, people uncertain and waiting. If they cancel the Olympics this summer again, they will not reschedule.
The Olympics are always a huge event with a lot of money spent on it. According to New York Magazine, “The Olympics are a massive expense for NBC with more than $12 billion spent for the broadcast rights.” Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga put Tokyo under a state of emergency to prevent Covid spikes. If this lockdown is prolonged, that could affect the Olympics occuring. The lockdowns also really hurt the economy which also could be a problem because the Olympics cost so much already.
Precautions will be needed if the Olympics take place. The Olympic committees are working hard to ensure safety for everyone involved in the games. Japan, who is hosting the Olympics, is hoping to be aided by a vaccine to ensure there will be no COVID-19 surge. According to TIME, “participants will be exempt from the 14-day isolation period Japan has in place, but at the very least, will be tested before getting on the plane and again on arrival. There will be strict physical distancing requirements, with bubble systems and possibly bubbles within bubbles.” Japan and the Olympic committee are working hours on end trying to figure out the best ways to keep everyone safe but keep this event going.
Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee says “this is all a work in progress”. The Summer Olympics are hoped to still happen safely after the right precautions are decided upon.