100 days until the Tokyo Olympics

When Tokyo won the Olympics seven and a half years ago, it called itself “safe hands.”

“Certainty was a decisive factor,” said Craig Reedie, then Vice President of the IOC, after a 2013 vote in Buenos Aires.

Now that Tokyo’s postponed Olympics have 100 days left on Wednesday, nothing is certain. Despite the surge in COVID-19, the organizers and the IOC are pushing ahead, despite countless scandals and overwhelming public opposition in Japan against hosting the Games.

The 1964 Tokyo Olympics celebrated Japan’s rapid recovery from its defeat in World War II. These Olympics are marked with footnotes and asterisks. Athletes, of course, have high goals, but goals elsewhere are modest. Overcome it, avoid becoming a Superspreading event, and stir up the country’s pride, knowing that most other countries couldn’t stop it.

“The government is very aware of how the’world’looks at Japan,” wrote Dr. Gil Steele, a political science professor at Doshisha University, in an email. “At some level, the cancellation of the Olympics would have been seen as a public failure on the international stage.”

Prices will skyrocket when the Olympics kick off on July 23rd.

The official cost is $ 15.4 billion. It’s hard to track Olympic spending, but some government audits could double that, and all but $ 6.7 billion are publicly funded.

The Swiss-based IOC generates 91% of its revenue from the sale of broadcast rights and sponsorships. That’s at least $ 5 billion every four years, but the postponement has stalled the flow of revenue from networks like the US-based NBC.

What does Tokyo get from the 17-day sports circus?

Fans from abroad are banned, sightseeing is banned, and there is no room for parties in the neighborhood. Athletes are told to arrive late, leave early, and steer around the rules of a moving maze.

Japan and the International Olympic Committee also have reputational costs such as bribery scandals, planning failures, and repeated misogyny at the Tokyo Olympic leadership.

The IOC is betting that Tokyo will be distracting as the closing ceremony takes place just six months before the opening of the boycott-threatening Beijing Winter Olympics.

Opinion polls suggest that up to 80% of Japanese want to cancel or postpone the Olympics. And many scientists disagree.

Dr. Norio Sugaya, an infectious disease expert at Keiyu Hospital in Yokohama, told The Associated Press, “It’s best not to host the Olympics because of the considerable risk.”

Japan’s vaccine deployments are rare and rarely fired before the Olympics begin, and Tokyo raised its “warning level” with another wave predicted about the time of the opening ceremony. About 9,500 deaths in Japan are due to COVID-19, which is good for global measures but not enough for Asian standards.

And what is the impact of 15,400 Olympic and Paralympic athletes from more than 200 countries and territories entering Japan with tens of thousands of officials, judges, media and broadcasters?

“There is a high risk in Japan. Japan is dangerous and not a safe place,” Sugaya said.

A large sponsored torch relay with 10,000 runners running all over Japan also poses a danger. The foot, scheduled for this week in Osaka, was pulled off the street due to a surge in COVID-19 cases and moved to a city park where fans were not allowed. Other legs throughout Japan will definitely be confused.

The IOC and Japanese politicians decided a year ago to postpone the Olympics but not cancel it due to inertia and the influence of Japanese advertising giant Dentsu, which set a $ 3.5 billion record with local sponsors. The last Olympics.

“I think the government is well aware that the Japanese people don’t want the Olympics so far,” Dr. Akira Tonami, who teaches political science at the University of Tsukuba, emailed AP. “But no one wants to be the one who unplugs.”

The Olympics may also determine the fate of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who replaced Shinzo Abe seven months ago. It was Prime Minister Abe who famously told IOC voters in 2013 that the Fukushima nuclear accident on March 11, 2011 was “under control.”

Despite being called the “Reconstruction Olympics,” the northeastern part of Japan is still hurt 10 years later. Many have accused the Olympics of slow recovery and sucking up resources.

“Suga’s fate is sealed,” Tonami said. “I think he knows his term as prime minister will not be long, so even if it’s good to resign as prime minister personally, the political situation surrounding him will probably remain the same,” he said. ..

Steel was more optimistic.

“His government is more likely to survive and even prosper if the Olympics are successful. Obviously, if it’s a disaster, it’s a dangerous strategy.”

IOC Chairman Thomas Bach repeatedly called Tokyo “the most ready Olympics ever” and rephrased it during the pandemic. The handsome venue, including Kengo Kuma’s $ 1.4 billion National Stadium, rose rapidly and was expensive, but the tournament went well until the pandemic.

However, the “safe pair of hands” was often unstable.

Tokyo’s first logo was abolished claiming to have been stolen, the original stadium concept was withdrawn because it cost more than $ 2 billion, and former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori of the Organizing Committee despised women two months ago. I resigned after making a typical comment. Artistic director Hiroshi Sasaki left a few weeks later for essentially the same reason.

In addition, French prosecutors believe that Tokyo landed on the Olympics by bribing IOC voters. Prosecutors claim that Rio de Janeiro apparently landed the 2016 Olympics in the same way.

Tsunekazu Takeda, who was a member of the IOC at the time and chairman of the Japanese Olympic Committee, was forced to resign due to a fraudulent vote two years ago. He denied cheating.

Dr. Lisa Kiel, who studies sports governance and is the director of the Global Institute for Responsible Sports Organizations at the University of Minnesota, said that corruption is “institutional” in many sports governing bodies, especially those operating across borders. “It has been transformed.”

“It’s very easy to make money from the system,” she said in an interview with AP. “No one intends to rock the boat because everyone benefits from the boat. National professional sports organizations, especially the United States, must comply with the rules of that country. Internationally, the IOC’s There is no organization that holds such an organization. It is responsible. It will not change until international sports are governed like financial institutions. “

100 days until the Tokyo Olympics

Source link 100 days until the Tokyo Olympics

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