The Associated Press
An Anti-Olympic Games protester stands outside Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday, November 8, 2020 (AP Photo / Stephen Wade)
Three-time Olympic champion gymnast Kohei Uchimura wants to hold the postponed Tokyo Olympics next year but has also spoken openly about uncertainties in Japan where enthusiasm is being silenced by health risks, billions of taxpayer bills, and questions why games are a priority amid the pandemic
Polls conducted over the past several months have shown that Japanese companies – and Japanese companies – are divided over whether to hold the games or suspect they should be held at all.
« Unfortunately, 80 percent of Japanese don’t think the Tokyo Olympics could happen as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, » Uchimura said after a one-day gymnastics show meeting last weekend.
« I would like people to change their minds from: We can’t hold the Olympics to – How can we do that? »
The Olympic Games have been postponed 7 and a half months ago, as the opening of the Olympiad has been postponed on July 23, 2021 Despite the double standards of public opinion, the International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers have the steadfast support of Japan’s ruling party and the Tokyo municipal government. Messages have been shaped around the games overcoming the odds – a heroic attempt by Japan to raise global morale, thanks to the Olympics
Should Japan fail, China will take the Asian competition stage six months later with the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 4, 2022
But there is a small puff of resistance to the Olympic giant, especially with the virus on the rise worldwide
There are concerns that 15,400 disabled Olympic and Olympic athletes will be allowed into Japan, and tens of thousands of officials, coaches, dignitaries and the media will join them; Not to mention, foreign audiences can be allowed to attend.
« We have to talk about whether games are something that we should move forward with that way, » Genki Sodo, a national lawmaker, told The Associated Press in an interview.
Sudo, a former mixed martial arts artist, wrestler and kickboxer, says the Olympics will not be fair for athletes. Some can train, but not many can because of the pandemic he even half jokingly suggested that games should be held remotely, like the Zoom Meeting
« If the training environment is different, is that fair? It’s not fair at all, » said Sudo in his office in the upper house of parliament decorated with pull rods.
About 57 percent of Tokyo’s qualifying spots were filled Matt Smith, World Rowing Championship president, said a few days ago that completing the qualifiers was « a really urgent matter »
Tomoko Tamura, a lawmaker from the opposition Communist Party of Japan, wants to hold the Olympics but said a safe vaccine may not come at the right time. Organizers say they can hold the Games or a vaccine or no vaccine.
Some have suggested that healthy athletes should not be a priority for any vaccine. Can athletes reject a vaccine and still compete? What if a vaccine caused an athlete to fall ill days before the event?
Japan has kept the infection under control with fewer than 2,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, although it is seeing a slight rise Inbound travel has mostly been stopped, but is sure to change for athletes and Olympic staff
Next week, IOC President Thomas Bach is scheduled to meet in Japan with new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Organizing Committee Chairman Yoshiro Mori, and perhaps any local sponsor needs to be convinced that the Olympics are still able to deliver. Local sponsors reduced $ 3 billion to $ 3 billion. Funding for the Games, at least twice as much as in any previous Olympics, was led by Japanese advertising company Dentsu Inc.
Bach was asked on Wednesday in Switzerland whether contingency plans to cancel the Olympics would be discussed in Tokyo.
Bach canceled a visit to South Korea last month due to the spread of the epidemic in Europe. A small « unwelcome committee » may be met when he arrives in Tokyo
About 30 anti-Olympics protesters appeared on Sunday outside the gymnastics event. They have distributed flyers and warned Bach in their papers that they will be there when he arrives to « deliver our message to cancel the Olympics »
Sonya Gansforth, a researcher at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, has written about the anti-Olympic movement in Japan. Protesters say the Olympics diverted billions from recovering from the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 In addition, they oppose the excessive use of public money and argue that the Olympics landed in Japan due to the IOC vote-buying scandal.
« Once the decision was made to hold the Olympic Games in Tokyo, many (Japanese) considered it anti-social or even unpatriotic to protest publicly against the Games, » Gansforth said in an email.
She wrote in a paper titled « Anti-Olympic protests in Japan are not an entirely new phenomenon. »
Gansforth said there were protests when Nagoya bid to host the 1988 Olympics, which eventually went to Seoul. She wrote that opposition was silenced before Nagano was awarded the 1998 Winter Olympics Bid records disappeared after the award amid widespread accusations of bribery.
Olympics finances say the games should continue – especially on television, which pays most of the bills.
The International Olympic Committee made 73 percent of its $ 5 7 billion in income during its most recent four-year Olympics sale of broadcast rights. The US NBC network pays more than $ 1 billion for each Olympics
Tokyo organizers say they are spending officially $ 12 6 billion to host the games. However, a government review last year reported that the amount is likely to be twice that size all but $ 5 6 billion of public money
Moreover, the cost of a one-year delay is estimated in Japan at between $ 2 billion and $ 3 billion. The International Olympic Committee said it would provide about $ 650 million in Japan for the delay, but provided few details.
A recent study by the University of Oxford stated that this is the most expensive Summer Olympics on record These were accounts before the pandemic
Ryo Honma, who has written several books critical of the Olympics and Dentsu’s ties to the Tokyo show, said the Games would be a farce.
« What should happen is that a taxi must carry the athletes when they arrive at the airport, so they will be isolated in the athletes’ village, » he told the Associated Press. « They will not be allowed any exchanges because otherwise the athletes’ village may become a contagion group. If I do all this, it might be possible to hold the Games, but where are the principles of the Olympiad? »
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2020 Summer Olympics, International Olympic Committee, Summer Olympics, Thomas Bach
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