2020 Tokyo Olympics should not be postponed

2020 Tokyo Olympics should not be postponed

Paige Williams, Opinion Editor

The most profound athletes from all over the world train their entire lives for an event which happens once every four years. With the Tokyo 2020 Olympics being moved almost a year in advance, athletes have had a whole extra year to prepare due to the pandemic. The 2020 Olympics should not be postponed again; they should remain scheduled for July 23, 2021. 

Tokyo specifically has a total of 3,500 cases currently according to https://covid19japan.com/#all-prefectures . With the low rates and especially with vaccines being distributed, athletes should be able to participate with certain restrictions. The citizens of Japan should come first but it is ultimately up to citizens choosing to be vaccinated or not.

According to the Associated Press, the government has secured enough vaccines for all its citizens and more through deals with the three primary distributors…”  

Although Japan is one of the lowset countries in vaccine confidence, only 25% polled agreed on the importance and effectiveness of the vaccine. With this being the case citizens should simply stay at home and view the games remotely to insure each citizen,athlete, worker, and spectator is more safe. 

All participants should also be required to receive the vaccine and be tested before traveling to minimize the risk of contracting or spreading the disease. The Olympics could spread events out over multiple days to minimize the number of people in a place at once rather than cancelling altogether. 

While the press conference to postpone the games was made in March of 2020, cases are still skyrocketing around the world. January 2021 a report came out by the times of London The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus,” the report alleged, “and the focus is now on securing the Games for the city in the next available year, 2032.” 

While the report was later rejected, the possibility of further cancellation is not off the table. With 6 months till the Olympics, costs to cover alterations due to the pandemic are up 22% https://www.cbssports.com/olympics/news/tokyo-olympics-and-paralympics-cost-up-22-now-sitting-at-15-4-billion/. This brings costs from 12.6 billion to 15.4 billion, and the Japanese government would have to pay all but 6.7 billion from a privately funded account. While cuts have been made, extras such as opening and closing ceremonies are what is keeping cost high, along with limited spectators as ticket sales were a main source of revenue for the event. 

If the Tokyo Olympics become postponed or cancelled, the most harm will come to the athletes. In particular the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is so important due to the addition of 5 new sports. Skateboarding, surfing, karate and sport climbing, all of which would make their Olympic debuts, and baseball/softball, which would return after their last appearance in 2008. In cycling, freestyle BMX will emerge as a new discipline alongside racing. Along with having equal spots for women and men in all categories, which is a major step in improving gender equality. Changes like these are setting the foundation for future Olympic games as well as the paralympics games. The cancelation of Tokyos games would be devastating to many young athletes who have spent so much time, energy and money to train to reach Olympic heights.