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Sunday, August 1, 2021

chaos dogg Tokyo Olympics 2020 - is it the greed of the Organisers !?!


The 2020 Summer Olympics (officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad) and branded as Tokyo 2020 is  scheduled to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Originally scheduled to take place in July-Aug 2020, the event was postponed in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be held largely behind closed doors with no spectators permitted under the state of emergency.  Despite being rescheduled for 2021, the event retains the Tokyo 2020 name for marketing and branding purposes.  This is the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled, rather than cancelled.

The greatest International games of Olympic has been dogged in controversies too in the past. During its history, both the Summer and Winter Games  have been  a subject of many scandals, controversies, and illegal drug uses.  There have been boycotts by Nations due to political reasons, issues of racial discrimination, World Wars – after both the WW - the losing countries were not invited. Other controversies include doping programs, decisions by referees and even gestures made by athletes.

A stylish new aquatics centre, a 12,000-seat gymnastic arena and a £1 billion state-of-the-art athletics stadium for 60,000 spectators - plus another five newly constructed sporting venues. These were the crown jewels in an Olympic Games that Japan believed would revitalise the nation after 15 years of economic decline and a devastating earthquake and tsunami that had killed 20,000 of its citizens. One million overseas visitors were expected to flock to the capital, sponsors had invested billions and advanced ticket sales showed enthusiasm for the Games nationally.  That was the dream: how very different the reality. Today, the host city is in a state of Covid-19 emergency as infections soar. The opening ceremony on Friday will take place behind closed doors, and the 43 venues will, when the Games start, be empty of crowds - except for a handful of VIPs - as the world’s elite competitors make their bid for sporting glory.

There have been sharp criticisms that – Tokyo Olympics 2020 is one, nobody seems to want to take place apart from the revenue-hungry International Olympics Committee (IOC) and a Japanese prime minister in need of votes.  However, even where there would be no visitors,   there will be 52,000 arrivals and that includes the athletes, their entourages and officials. As for ticket sales, some 90 billion Yen (£590 million) will be refunded now spectators are banned.

And if ever there was a portent for disaster, it must be the arrival of the Olympic flame in the Japanese capital last week at a ceremony conducted in an empty stadium - except for socially distanced dignitaries and officials - in the rain. The traditional relay of the flame around Japan has been curtailed, too, to avoid public roads for fear of crowds. That, though, is unlikely. It is stated that  80 per cent of Japanese people are outraged the Games are happening. On the streets, citizens furious at the slow vaccination process hold up banners, painted to look like they are dripping with blood, which warn of pending ‘murder’. They worry - and with good cause it seems - that the Games will trigger a spike in infections in Japan. Protestors have taken to the streets of the Japanese capital in recent weeks - including today - to demand an end to the event, with scores of people seen holding up signs reading 'Cancel the Tokyo Olympics'.

Already, a positive Covid test by a fellow passenger at the airport has seen South Africa’s rugby sevens squad dispatched to a quarantine hotel, their preparations in ruins before the players made it through the arrivals door. Two members of a Ugandan delegation and a Serbian rower have also tested positive. On Thursday, a Covid cluster was found at a hotel where dozens of Brazilian Olympic team members are staying, with seven staff testing positive. It was not meant to be like this.

Worser still, Tokyo Olympics organisers have detected the first Covid-19 case inside the Games Village - just six days before the opening ceremony.  According to Japanese media, the infected person is a 'foreign national' who tested positive on Friday and is now 'confined to a hotel.' The nationality of the individual is not being disclosed to 'protect their privacy' but officials said they are part of the organising team. The case is the first to be detected at the 44-hectare athletes' village on Tokyo's waterfront - where officials and the majority of the 11,000 competing athletes will be staying over the coming weeks. Teams from all four corners of the globe are just starting to arrive for the Games, which will run from July 23 to August 8. Hundreds of athletes and officials, including from Australia, Nepal, Korea, South Africa and Brazil, have arrived at Narita International Airport  - where they must all take a mandatory anti-gen Covid-19 test.

There is something eerie !!  - an  Ugandan weightlifter who went missing from an Olympic training camp on Friday reportedly left a note saying he wanted to stay in Japan, adding to confusion ahead of the Games which begin next week. Julius Ssekitoleko was reported missing after failing to turn up for a Covid-19 test, with officials saying on Friday that police were making an 'all-out effort' to find the 20-year-old, who was taking part in the Ugandan training camp near Osaka. Further media reports suggest Ssekitoleko left behind a note saying he wanted to stay and work in Japan, as life in Uganda was difficult. Ssekitoleko had not qualified to take part in the Tokyo Games, and was due to return to Uganda next Tuesday. A nearby train station recorded him purchasing a bullet train ticket to Nagoya in central Japan, the reports said. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
17th July 2021.

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