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Turbulent Tokyo Olympic

June 23, 2021, 3:46 p.m. by Karuwaki Speaks ( 499 views)

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The Olympic Day was introduced in 1894 to commemorate the birth of the modern Olympics on June 23 in Paris. It is marked to promote participation in sport regardless of age, gender and athletic abilities and is celebrated around the world to spread the Olympic ideals.

Every year, Olympic Day allows the whole world to unite behind the Olympic dream.

This year, the theme of International Olympic Day is - “Stay healthy, stay strong, stay active with the Olympic Day workout on June 23.”

This year the organizers have created a new home exercise video featuring Olympics competitors in the run-up to Olympic Day. Athletes featured in the video are American gymnast Laurie Hernandez, French former biathlete Martin Fourcade, British taekwondo star Lutalo Muhammad, Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat and Tongan skier Pita Taufatofua.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks
Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

The pandemic has turned everything upside down and the dream run to Tokyo games is increasingly turning into an unending nightmare.

The 2020 Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to take place in the Japanese capital between 23 July and 8 August.

They were postponed last year because of the pandemic.

More and more people in Japan are questioning the need for the summer Olympics to go on. A recent poll found 60 percent of Japanese people want the games canceled. The realities of the pandemic are now crashing up against the Summer Olympics schedule.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

Though foreign spectators have been barred from attending the Olympic Games in Japan, the event will still draw athletes and officials from around the world, increasing the risk of new variants of the deadly virus being introduced into the country.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has said he’s determined to hold the games. But if the Olympics becomes a super spreader event the public backlash will be severe. At the same time, he’s facing pressure from business interests if he cancels.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

It would also signal Japan’s failures against the pandemic. Japan has fared better than the US or Europe against the virus and pursued a big stimulus package to boost its economy and canceling the Olympics might spotlight the country’s inability to get this latest wave under control.

Organisers have said the 2020 Olympics will be canceled not delayed again if they can’t go ahead as scheduled.

When the pandemic forced Tokyo last year to delay the Summer Olympics and Paraolympics to July 2021, organisers kept the Tokyo 2020 name, saying they wanted the event to be seen as a “light at the end of the tunnel.” By keeping the name, the IOC also ensured that logos, packaging, t-shirts, merchandise and broadcasting franchises remain the same a cost-saving move for sponsors and partners.

Next year, the Winter Olympics is scheduled in February 2022, hosted by regional rival China in Beijing.

So there is little doubt that on the whole, Japan is prepared to go to great lengths to get the Tokyo Games done.

The last time Japan hosted a Summer Olympics was in 1964 and at the time hosting the games sent an uplifting message for the country's rehabilitation and rebuilding process after World War Two.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

1964 Summer Olympics Tokyo

The Olympic Games are the "exclusive property" of the IOC, and as the "owner" of the Games, it is the IOC that can only terminate the said contract.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

Since the opening of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the international sports competition has only been canceled three times: once during World War I (1916) and twice during World War II (1940, 1944).

The 1936 Berlin Games were allowed to go on amid a Nazi regime intent on using sport to demonstrate Adolf Hitler’s theories of racial superiority.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

1936 Berlin Olympics

Jesse Owens, the African American track and field star, famously proved Hitler wrong, taking home four gold medals.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

Jesse Owens

In a lesser-known victory, India’s underdog field hockey team also crushed the Germans 8-1 in the men’s final.

Turbulent Tokyo Olympic! |Karuwaki speaks

India vs Germany 1936 Olympics Hockey Final (8-1)

The number of overseas officials and participants in the Tokyo games has been cut by about half, to around 78,000, with calls for further reductions.

The latest news is Government of Japan agreed for the spectator limit for the Olympic Games to be set at "50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people" at all venues.

It’s a situation unlike any the international Olympic family has found itself in the modern era.

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