The fate of the Tokyo Olympic Games is in the spotlight once more. With a recent spike in coronavirus cases, four prefectures, including Tokyo and Kyoto, will enter a third state of emergency today. This raises the stakes for the Games, which were postponed from last July. Covid-19 has already forced compromises for this year’s rescheduled event. Organisers announced last month that overseas fans will not be allowed to attend.
While this might result in the loss of on-site atmosphere, people have become acclimated to watching events online and so might not mind viewing the Games from afar. The torch relay has had routes changed to accommodate safety protocols, while some qualifiers, seen as a test for Japan’s ability to safely manage events, have been postponed, cancelled or moved elsewhere. These might seem like minor inconveniences, considering the pandemic has already stolen a year from athletes who spent their professional lives training for this pinnacle of sporting events.