The most troubling Olympics in modern history is coming to an end in Tokyo on Friday, with the construction project being postponed for a year due to scandal and controversy.
Friday’s opening ceremony will be with the Japanese capital in a state of emergency as Tokyo celebrates its right to win the sport, eight years after the Gold Ticker tape rain.
Fearing that a global gathering of 11,000 athletes could trigger a massive super-spreader event, organizers have been forced to push the sport into a biosecure street jacket.
The epidemic ban means that for the first time in Olympic history, no domestic or foreign spectators will be allowed to participate in the Games.
Athletes, support staff and the media are subject to strict CWED 19 protocols, including regular checkups and daily health checks.
Excursions are prohibited, meaning that for the most part, players will be prevented from wandering outside of their place of residence or competition.
Public opinion has consistently found that the majority of Japanese are against sports, ranging from tired indifference to utter hostility.
A recent survey by the Asahi Shimon newspaper reported that 55% of respondents were against holding it this summer.
“I’m totally losing interest. I feel like I can’t welcome the Olympics wholeheartedly and I’m not happy about it,” Tokyo resident Sierra Onoma told AFP.
“I’m not even sure if I’ll watch games on TV.”
Friday Opening Ceremony – One of the highlights of any Summer Games traditionally lit up with Olympic flames, with a parade of nations and thousands of athletes.
The 68,000-seat Olympic Stadium for the traditional extravagant wings will be attended by less than 1,000 dignitaries and officials, who will meet at 8:00 pm (1100 GMT) local time.
Emperor Naruhito of Japan will also be among the VIPs, as well as world leaders and senior figures including US First Lady Jill Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron, who will host the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
But as a sign of hostility against the Olympics, many top sponsors, including Toyota, Panasonic, Fujitsu and NEC, will not send executives to the event.
Toyota’s operating officer, John Nagata, said: “It’s turning into the Olympics, which can’t be understood in different ways.
Meanwhile, the Emperor of Japan, in a commentary by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, described it as “far from an easy task” and acknowledged the difficulties in keeping the Games in this epidemic state.
Norohito’s remarks came as 1,979 more infections were registered in Tokyo on Thursday, the highest figure since the onset of the disease in winter.
IOC chief Butch, who has been calling for months to postpone or cancel the Games, insists the Olympics can be held safely.
“Over the last 15 months, we’ve had to make a lot of uncertainties,” Buck said this week. “We had doubts every day. There was a night’s sleep.
“We can finally see at the end of the tunnel. Canceling was never an option for us. The IOC never leaves the players … we did it for the players.”
There are also huge financial incentives in the game. Insiders estimate that if the games had been canceled, the IOC would have lost about 1.5 1.5 billion in broadcasts.
Meanwhile, Olympic organizers will be forgiven for breathing a sigh of relief as the attention is finally drawn to the sports action after the tumultuous road to the Games.
Scams ranging from corruption in the bidding process to allegations of design on the Tokyo 2020 logo have arisen.
The controversy escalated into the Games when the director of the opening ceremony was fired on Thursday for making fun of the Holocaust in a 1998 video.
On the sports field, the sport could see a new generation of Owais Olympic stars emerge after a decade, dominated by the likes of Eisenhower Bolt and Michael Phelps.
In Saturday’s swimming competition, Caleb Driesel could win seven gold medals.
On the track and field, household names like Carsten Warholm of Norway’s 400m hurdles and Sidney McLaughlin of the USA will be among those hoping to emerge.
Both Warholm and McLaughlin have set world records in the 400-meter hurdles this year.
Meanwhile, gymnasts will try to test Simon Byles for her illustrious career by equating Larissa Latinina’s record of nine Olympic gold medals.
The 24-year-old American gymnast is one of the few superstars returning to the Rio Olympics.
Along with surfing, skateboarding, climbing and karate, new Olympic sports will also be on display in Tokyo.
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