Dozens of Japanese towns have abandoned plans to accept overseas athletes for the Olympics over mounting COVID-19 concerns.
Despite slow vaccine rollouts and covid cases rising alongside public concerns, IOC’s Dick Pound, ensures the Japanese Olympics will go ahead.
The past few days have shown reason for concern regarding the continuation of the Olympics in Japan. On 12 May, over 7,000 covid-19 cases were reported.
Government officials have claimed that the safety of their citizens is paramount over those of the athletes. This comes in the wake of 40 out of the 528 towns (7.6 per cent) said to house Olympic athletes “for training camps“, withdrawing their offer.
However, whether Japan is taking the safety of their citizens seriously is questionable. In a Sydney Morning Herald article, IOC spokesman Mark Adams claimed:
“We…won’t be guided by public opinion…the games can go ahead and will go ahead.”
However, Japan currently has one of the lowest rates of vaccinations amongst the worlds wealthiest countries. With vaccines being distributed at a glacial pace, it’s no wonder the public is fearful for their counties overall health.
This push and pull between Governmental, and people power highlights a bigger issue, driven by non-other than…the mullahs *sigh*.
As of December 2020, it became known that Japan spent US$15 billion (over double their initial budget) on the Summer Olympics, making it the most expensive to date.
In a bid to avoid additional public criticism, the total amount spent from the public sector is being made to appear “as small as possible” despite this figure sitting at almost half of the total spending’s (US$6.7 billion).
It, therefore, comes as no surprise that the IOC is adamant about the continuation of the Olympics, despite the aggressively flashing warning signs.
Japan is determined not to protect Tokyo 2020 Olympic volunteers and make them perfect vectors for carrying deadly variants of COVID-19 out to Japan & beyond
We got ahold of the handbook for staff:
There’s no regular testing for volunteers nor will they be vaccinated pic.twitter.com/yTLDFN3CpE
— Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) May 11, 2021
Following internal doubts, international concerns are present, with the US track team cancelling their ‘Olympic camp’ in Japan.
Additionally, a Japanese Doctors Union has warned that safely orchestrating the Olympics during this pandemic will be “impossible“.
With such an internationally inclusive event, the likelihood of new covid variants being introduced to Japan is highly probable. The strain this could place on the country’s economy and resources would be devastating.
Despite the bleak scenario that is unfolding for Japan, Dick Pound is positive that the IOC can “create the necessary bubble for safety.” With three months till the Olympics are set to kick-off, let’s hope Dick and Co. can pound out a miracle!