Tokyo Olympic Games 2021

Ashley Aguirre, Copy Editor

The International Olympics Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have agreed on the new dates for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Games will be celebrated from July 23 to August 8 2021 after much consideration from the organizers regarding the safety of participants. 

   These dates have been put in place to allow qualification for the athletes and let the hosting organization to make adequate preparations to ensure the event runs smoothly. 

The Governor of Tokyo, Koike Yuriko, elaborates on this saying “In consideration of the global coronavirus outbreak, we need a certain time frame before we fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure for the athletes and spectators”

    Governor Yuriko believes it to be ideal to host the Games in the year 2021 as it will be around the same time as they were intended to be in 2020. 

   The events for track and field will be held in the National Stadium in Tokyo. Due to the usually intense heat during the summer in Japan, the location of the Olympic Marathon will be moved north to Sapporo, Japan where temperatures will be far cooler than the Tokyo location. 

   To protect the competitors and citizens of Tokyo from a potential COVID-19 outbreak, foreign spectators will not be allowed to visit the games. Even despite these extra measures to ensure public safety, many citizens of Japan, especially residents of Tokyo feel uneasy about hosting such a large event. 

   Yuko Arimori, an olympic runner for Japan, said in an interview to “Think about the people supporting them” instead of focusing on only the safety of the athletes.          

    Arimori’s statement encompassed the overall disapproval of other Japanese citizens to the continuation of the Games, especially with more overseas variants of the disease. In a survey conducted by Sports Illustrated, “ more than 80% of Japanese respondents favored canceling or postponing [the Games]” .

   Despite worldwide fans being unable to attend the games in person, there will be plenty of exciting additions to the games that will be televised this summer. Making their debut in the Games since 2008, baseball and softball as well as karate, skateboarding, sports climbing, and surfing will be added to the Olympic program. 

Thomas Bach, the head of International Olympic Committee, stated that the new sports are “youth-focused events” that are also popular in Japan and will “add to the legacy of the Games”. 

   Although many Japanese citizens are skeptical about the continuation of the Games, they are still set to take place this summer.