With games scheduled to start in one month, pandemic questions still linger regarding Tokyo Summer Olympics


Carl Court

One step being taken to keep all concerned as safe as possible is to not allow fans from other countries to attend the Summer Olympic Games being held in Tokyo, Japan.

With less than 50 days to go, the very anticipated Summer Olympics are right around the corner. As Tokyo gets set to host the prominent event, the question on the world’s mind continues the same: how will they deal with the pandemic and all the issues that revolve it? Those same exact issues that postponed the same event from happening last Summer.

As Tokyo establishes its final verdicts and preparations, it’s still unclear exactly how they will deal with fans attending the event. One thing is solidified, Japan has already decided to ban fans coming from outer countries. Although it is certain that fans coming from abroad will not be allowed in the venues, looking inside Japan itself the situation isn’t looking bright. Even with the infections and death rates caused by Covid-19 having gone down recently, only less than 3.5% of Japan has been fully vaccinated and only about 10% have got their first dose of it, compared to the 52% of Americans fully vaccinated and 62% who have already received their first dose for example. 

The final decision is to be announced towards the end of June, but different ideas have been floating around. Japan government officials have suggested allowing fans into venues as long as a negative COVID-19 test or a vaccination card is shown beforehand. So far this looks to be the most likely procedure to take place next month, while others believe socially distanced seats and lines could be enough to keep everyone safe. 

“I think the safest thing to do would be to only allow vaccinated people to go in and watch,” Olympic Heights sophomore Andrew Goodman stated, “As fun as it would be to watch arenas at full capacities it isn’t worth the risk it could create with the thousands of athletes and fans there.”

Meanwhile, no matter how safe of an environment the Olympics will be, they will continue to receive backlash. This doesn’t come as a surprise as Japan and specifically its host city Tokyo are under a state of emergency dealing with the pandemic, expected to clear at the end of June, around a month before the start of the event. 

Another big concern has been the health and safety of the athletes. As the International Olympic Committee (IOC) attempts to make an NBA-like bubble, it is impossible to build the same phenomenon with the amount of athletes attending the Olympics compared to the NBA Playoffs. According to Japan’s Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, the IOC plans to test athletes for Covid everyday, including vaccinated athletes, and will also obligate everyone at any IOC facility to wear a mask when within 6-feet of each other. Post game hand-shakes and hugs will also not be allowed to prevent the spread of the virus.

As far as the athletes go, their opinion aligns with the public’s thoughts. Japan tennis player Naomi Osaka told reporters back in March, “of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen, because I’m an athlete and that’s sort of what I’ve been waiting for my entire life, but I think that there’s so much important stuff going on, and especially the past year,” she added. “I think a lot of unexpected things have happened and if it’s putting people at risk, and if it’s making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion.”