Tokyo – The postponed Tokyo Olympics are kickstarting.
On Friday, the local organizer announced a series of 18 test events starting in March and running in May.
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin on July 23, 2021 after being postponed eight months ago due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement at the online press conference took place on the same day that Tokyo reported a one-day record of 570 new coronavirus infections in the capital.
Japan has dealt with pandemics better than most countries, but recently, about 2,000 deaths have been caused by COVID-19 in 125 million countries, and the number of cases is increasing rapidly.
At least four test events will be attended by athletes from abroad, including swimming, gymnastics, diving and volleyball tests, according to people familiar with the matter.
The athletics competition to be held at the new National Stadium on May 9th is listed as a test event. It is uncertain whether players from overseas will participate.
Hidemasa Nakamura, who is in charge of game distribution, said that none of the test events will allow fans from overseas, but the number of fans from Japan is unspecified at some events.
“No, there are no spectators from overseas,” Nakamura said.
Some of the events do not even involve athletes and test “operations” only as a way to reduce spending.
Japan has recently been hosting sporting events with its fans. In the final round of this week’s Nippon Professional Baseball series, about 19,000 fans gathered at the 38,000-seat stadium in Fukuoka. And thousands of fans were allowed to attend an international gymnastics event in Tokyo earlier this month.
“For the number of spectators, we need to take into account the guidelines of the Japanese government,” says Nakamura and Yasuo Mori, who handles game distribution.
The announcement by the Tokyo Organizing Committee is the latest in a campaign over the past few months to convince audiences, sponsors and the Japanese people around the world that the Olympics and Paralympics will be held despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It is.
Organizers will announce a “toolbox” of preliminary measures against COVID-19 next month, but they are ambiguous and many changes may be made next year.
Thomas Bach, chairman of the International Olympic Committee, who discussed the match in Tokyo this month, admitted that much of the plan depends on vaccine availability and rapid testing.
He said they weren’t “silver bullets,” but they would certainly help with the social distance, masks, and quarantine-like conditions of the athlete village.
Bach said athletes do not need to be vaccinated. He said young Olympic athletes are no priority over millions of healthcare workers, the elderly and other vulnerable people.
Bach suggested that the IOC cover part of the cost of the vaccine, but did not provide details as the cost continues to rise due to the postponement.
Tokyo has officially said it spends $ 12.6 billion on hosting the Olympics, but it probably doubled, according to a government audit last year.
According to game officials, 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes will be allowed to enter Japan with tens of thousands of officers, judges, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters.
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Tokyo Olympic organizers will host 18 test events
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