The Tokyo Olympics are just three days away, and usually, excitement would be at an all-time high as citizens of nations around the globe prepare to watch their athletes compete on the ultimate stage.
But these Olympics are in no way normal. The Games have been delayed a year due to the COVID pandemic, and the rules and regulations for athletes and the few that are allowed to attend the events have significantly tempered excitement.
Now, there is a small chance the Games will be delayed once again, if not canceled entirely.
On Tuesday, the chief of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee — Toshiro Muto — was asked if the recent increase in positive tests by athletes arriving for the Games might cause the Games to be canceled at the last minute. The answer was illuminating.
“We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” Muto said.
“We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”
As athletes have started to arrive in Tokyo, COVID cases are on the rise.
On Sunday, the first cases of COVID inside the Olympic Village were reported.
According to The Associated Press, two South African soccer players tested positive on Sunday. A third individual from the South African contingent — a video analyst —also tested positive. All three have been moved to “the Tokyo 2020 isolation facility,” and the rest of the soccer team and officials have been moved to quarantine.
“Team officials and management have followed all relevant Olympic Playbook rules, protocols, and procedures throughout the pre-Games and Games arrival routines,” the South African Olympic committee said.
The South African soccer team is scheduled to play Japan on Thursday.
On Tuesday, organizers said there have been 67 cases of COVID “among those accredited for the Games since July 1, when many athletes and officials started arriving.”
The Japanese public has been against the Games being held this year for quite some time. As The Daily Wire reported, a May nationwide poll of Japanese citizens found that 83 percent of those surveyed wanted the Olympics postponed or scrapped.
On Monday, Toyota Motor Corp. dropped all TV ads on Japanese television linked to the Games.
“The media plan for Toyota’s Olympic and Paralympic global ad campaign is managed by individual countries and regions. In Japan, the local Toyota office previously decided not to air the campaign out of sensitivity to the COVID-19 situation in that country,” Toyota Motor North America said in a statement to The Hill.
“In the U.S., the campaign has already been shown nationally and will continue to be shown as planned with our media partners during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the company added.
Seiko Hashimoto — the organizing committee president — said that support for the Games has dropped as safety measures designed to reassure the Japanese public have not necessarily done so.
“I really want to apologize from my heart for the accumulation of frustrations and concerns that the public has been feeling towards the Olympics,” Hashimoto said.
Tokyo has seen a recent surge in Covid cases, with 1,387 new cases being reported on Tuesday. The steady rise in cases has caused the Japanese government to issue a new state of emergency beginning July 12 and ending August 22. The state of emergency will last for the entirety of the Olympics, causing the ban of fans from most Olympic events.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to email@example.com.
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