The 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021

The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to Aug. 8. Japan had planned to hold the Olympic games in the summer of 2020, but the government decided to delay the games one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The government recently decided to hold the Tokyo Olympics without allowing overseas spectators, saying they want to make it a safe environment for sports athletes and audiences in Japan.    

“I cannot wait for the Olympic games. We have been waiting since summer 2020. I am proud of the government and the IOC’s (International Olympic Committee) decision,” said senior Ulala Murasawa, who is a student at Sacred Heart University in Japan.

According to a press release from ESPN, the Japanese government is spending a lot of money to establish the Olympic Games. It is reported that the games cost $15.4 billion.

“$6.7 billion is public money, and a University of Oxford study says these are the most expensive Olympics on record,” according to an ESPN press release.

The public money includes 4.45 million tickets, which were sold to residents of Japan. However, the Japanese government has not yet decided how many spectators will be able to attend the games.

“They have promised refunds, but this will be determined by so-called authorized ticket resellers that handle sales outside Japan,” according to the ESPN press release.  

The refunds are for everyone who has already purchased the tickets.

Japanese media coverage has been focused on the cost of preparing for the Olympics. Sakai Masato reported in an article of the President, “The cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics will have negative effects on Japan’s business.”

On the other hand, other broadcasts in different countries tend to focus on the health and safety of athletes and spectators. Some people disagree with the Japanese government’s decision to hold the games this summer.

“The organizers say that they will be enforcing regular testing, social distancing, perhaps not having full capacity of spectators in the stadium to prevent the spread of the virus,” reported Alastair Gale in The Wall Street Journal.

According to the discussion between the Japanese government and IOC, they will allow foreign Olympic athletes to participate in the Olympics. However, families of those athletes will not be able to go to Japan to watch in person.

During COVID-19, many athletes have continued to train for the Olympics and find ways to maintain their skills while in quarantine. In addition to their physical skills, many athletes had to work on their mental health and had to come to terms with not competing last summer.

Senior sports psychologist with the U.S. Olympics and Paralympic Committee Dr. Karen Cogan said in an Oklahoma News interview, “We’re already being physically isolated from each other, and then to struggle with a difficult emotional issue alone, that’s just a double whammy I would say.”

Many athletes have been stressed with pressures to keep their mental health for the Tokyo Olympics because they cannot assume how the Tokyo Olympics is going to be organized.  

Another aspect of mental strain on athletes, in addition to being pressured to perform well, is the added stress of COVID-19.

“As long as there are safety precautions and the people attending are either vaccinated or have a negative test, then it should be okay,” said junior Amanda Meza.

According to the Olympic official website, the IOC said, “We will make every effort so that the fans from around the world will be able to experience the Olympics spirit. The Olympics and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be the light at the end of the tunnel and a safe manifestation of peace.”

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