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To game or not to game: Tokyo Olympics 2021

What is your take: should the Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympics be held in 2021 or not?

  • Yes, they should go ahead as scheduled (July 2012).

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • They should be held but scaled down.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    5

thomas

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The Tokyo Olympics were supposed to start next Friday. They are now scheduled to begin in July 2021. Here's an interesting piece by the NYT that sheds some light on the uncertainties of next year's event given the coronavirus situation in the US and other nations.

tokyo-olympics-2020.jpg



The re-elected governor of Tokyo, Ms Koike, pledged a "120 per cent effort" to ensure the first-ever postponed Games can go ahead. Koike said the city was committed to holding the event as a "symbol of human triumph" over the virus, but admitted it would be downsized.


Mr Mori, the president of Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, echoed these sentiments last week and posed a "Big if" question that nobody really wants to address right now: if the Games end up being scrapped, who will pay the damages stemming from the building of stadiums and selling of tickets?

Source: http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13556891

Many health experts, such as Kentaro Iwata, a professor of infectious diseases at Kobe University, remain highly sceptical. As Covid-19 continues to spread, with more than 14 million reported cases and more than 600,000 deaths around the world, they say it's unlikely the Tokyo Olympics - and the Paralympics, which are slated to begin 24 Aug 2021 - can or will be held as scheduled: "I do not think (holding the) Olympic Games in 2021 is (a) realistic goal".


Another option under consideration is to scale down the games next year:

The Olympics were delayed for a year because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. According to one estimate, the additional costs to hold the event next summer will total 300 billion yen ($2.7 billion). However, the Tokyo metropolitan government has also been forced to dip into its budget to cover various support measures for local companies that have been asked to close or reduce operating hours to prevent a further spread of COVID-19 infections. The total cost of these measures has reached at least 1 trillion yen, effectively wiping out the metropolitan government’s fiscal adjustment fund.

Source: Tokyo discussing scaled-down Olympics in 2021 to reduce costs

Meanwhile, only 23.9 per cent of Tokyoites want to hold the games next year. I have no doubts that this number will further decrease.

 

mdchachi

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Mr Mori, the president of Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, echoed these sentiments last week and posed a "Big if" question that nobody really wants to address right now: if the Games end up being scrapped, who will pay the damages stemming from the building of stadiums and selling of tickets?
We already know the answer to that. It will primarily be taxpayers.
 
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thomas

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Meanwhile, some 80 per cent of the Japanese oppose the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. That's a new record.


With so much money burned and given the current state of the pandemic and the general public's mood, I cannot imagine how the government can possibly insist on allowing some ten-thousand athletes descend on the country, with or without vaccines. Time to show some backbone, Mr Suga, and scrap the games! Even if Mr Bach keeps roaring from Lausanne:


Cancel already!
 

Davey

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I don't think it would be safe nor fair to hold them this year, but to cancel them is something else as I think Japan deserves to hold the olympics. Would this be possible:
 

nahadef

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I'm not opposed to holding the games, but it really depends on the vaccine rollout and its efficacy. I don't have confidence the vaccine will go as hoped, but I'm not a doctor or have any sort of inside knowledge.

That puts me in a wait-and-see position. If things look good in the spring, let's do it! And I write this as someone who doesn't watch the games at all. Usually just a clip montage of the opening ceremonies. If it goes as hoped, then the Olympics would be a hugely positive event for the world to experience after everything last year.
 
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thomas

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Holding the Games in 2024 sounds like a good solution but doesn't seem to be possible:

Japan’s government has privately concluded the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, The Times reported, citing an unnamed senior member of the ruling coalition. [...] The government’s focus is now on securing the Games for Tokyo in the next available year, 2032, the newspaper said.


I am not categorically opposed to the Olympics but feel that the government should now focus on the pandemic and stop wasting their resources pursuing (political) illusions.

I am not a doctor either, but I doubt that Japan will reach herd immunity before summer.
 

Buntaro

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The rescheduled Tokyo Games may have to be held behind closed doors if they are to go ahead in Japan this year, athletics chief Lord Coe has admitted.

The World Athletics president remained confident the Olympics and Paralympics would take place despite a Times report suggesting they would be cancelled.

"I would love to have fans, noisy and passionate," Coe told the BBC.

"But if the only way we're able to deliver it is behind closed doors, I think everybody is accepting of that."

Coe, who headed the London 2012 organising committee and is also an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member, said, in the event of a cancellation, it was "not a realistic solution" to push back Paris 2024 and Los Angeles 2028 in order for Tokyo to host the Olympics in three years' time.

 

thomas

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After the Times of London published their article (based on anonymous sources), the government went into complete denial, insisting that the Games would be hosted at all costs.

Now, all athletes will need to be vaccinated, despite earlier reports that this was no prerequisite.


Also, as @Buntaro posted above, they consider to either limit the number of spectators or hold the events without spectators.

No ticket sales would result in an expected loss of 90 billion JPY (867 million USD).

 

Petaris

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@thomas, does that 90 B JPY include the expected losses to local businesses who would normally see an increase in business during the Olympics or is it just the loss of the ticket sales themselves?

I'm not arguing for having the Olympics, just curious what the number actually includes.

I actually think they should just cancel it. Even if it were limited to only Olympians and their support personal the extra international travel could result in an increase of COVID-19 cases. Even with vaccinations, we just don't know how effective they will be yet.
 

mdchachi

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@thomas, does that 90 B JPY include the expected losses to local businesses who would normally see an increase in business during the Olympics or is it just the loss of the ticket sales themselves?

I'm not arguing for having the Olympics, just curious what the number actually includes.

I actually think they should just cancel it. Even if it were limited to only Olympians and their support personal the extra international travel could result in an increase of COVID-19 cases. Even with vaccinations, we just don't know how effective they will be yet.
Probably it would be no worse than a robust Go To Travel campaign. :)
 

thomas

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Does that 90 B JPY include the expected losses to local businesses who would normally see an increase in business during the Olympics or is it just the loss of the ticket sales themselves?

According to Kyodo News, those 90bn JPY are the expected ticket loss and would not cover the losses of other businesses.

Holding the Tokyo Games without spectators would deal a blow to the organizing committee, which expects to make revenue of 90 billion yen ($867 million) from ticket sales.
 

thomas

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Today, Takeshi Niinami, chief executive of beverage giant Suntory Holdings and economic advisor to Mr Suga, said that the following conditions must be met for the Olympics to proceed:
  1. Control the current spread of cases (reducing testing and closing izakaya at 8 p.m. should do the trick ;) )
  2. People have to wear contact-tracing devices via smartphones.
  3. Vaccine rollout must begin in February as scheduled ( What about foreign athletes? )
  4. Experiment with other major events, such as professional baseball games (brilliant idea; we could also restart the Go to Travel campaign, experimentally)
Meanwhile, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis suggested that the Olympics could happen in Florida in 2021 if Japan dropped out.


For comparison: Florida Coronavirus Map and Case Count
 

Lothor

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Point 4 makes sense to me. Japanese football (JLeague) and baseball were excellent last year. They got to grips with the problem early, cancelling matches from late February while Abe and Koike were pretending everything was OK, then they got together and tried to solve the problems arising from the virus. Matches with a limited number of spectators and sensible measures in place started late summer, and I got to see FC Tokyo play a few matches. As far as I know, no clusters have been linked to large sports matches in Japan.
 
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