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2020 Olympic organizers test heat countermeasures in sweltering Tokyo

28 Comments
By Jack Tarrant and Yoko Kono

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28 Comments
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Keep hydrating and applying that sunscreen. Stay safe.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Keep out of the sun and hot places

Everywhere that isn’t air conditioned is considered a hot place.

The only real countermeasures are stay hydrated, stay under air conditioning, and limit your exposure to the heat outside.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Emergency medical services with the proper language training is going to be paramount. And I certainly hope the government and committee are not relying on the typical Eikaiwa level of experience. Possible life/death situation and proper communication is not like, "Hi, I'm Taro, I riv in Tokyo."

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

For the first time in 19 years, most of the trees that line the streets in my area have not been pruned back to match sticks. Usually it is done by mid June.

Walking down the sidewalks, in the shade now is so much cooler. You can certainly feel the difference. The biggest being the lack of radiated heat coming up at you from the pavement.

The place looks a lot better with more greenery too.

Seeing as as so many Olympic venues are new or majorly renovated, I presume there won’t be too many shade trees nearby those structures.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The WBGT device factors in temperature, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation, producing a rating based on the variables and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) advise citizens against exercising when the WBGT rating is over 31.

On Thursday, however, the WBGT rating at the beach volleyball venue in central Tokyo was as high as 31.7 but organizers said it did not mean that an Olympics event would be cancelled should this happen during the Games.

I have a feeling the WBGT ratings in late July and early August are going to be a wee bit higher than it was Thursday. Then what? Hope it won't be as hot next year?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

On Thursday, however, the WBGT rating at the beach volleyball venue in central Tokyo was as high as 31.7 but organizers said it did not mean that an Olympics event would be cancelled should this happen during the Games.

So, what is the point of the WBGT index if they are not going to cancel events in dangerously high level conditions?

Those mist sprinklers in the photo only work if there is a breeze. If the conditions are sultry (like usual August weather) they only serve to increase humidity.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) advise citizens against exercising when the WBGT rating is over 31.

On Thursday, however, the WBGT rating at the beach volleyball venue in central Tokyo was as high as 31.7 but organizers said it did not mean that an Olympics event would be cancelled should this happen during the Games.

What? Then why have a WBGT rating anyway if you are not gonna use it. Amateur hour.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'd love to see these organizers test run a marathon

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Just for comparison, the olympics in Atlanta were held from July 19 through August 4 and the hottest day of the year is around July 22. Atalanta has similar hot and humid weather, although I think Tokyo might be a bit warmer. Anyway, I am sure the olympic committee looked at similar locations like this. I'm not saying I like it or anything, but of course they aren't going to change the dates.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Those mist sprinklers in the photo only work if there is a breeze. If the conditions are sultry (like usual August weather) they only serve to increase humidity.

Even worse, they can spread disease. A friend of mine who works in water supply systems once visited me here in the summer and as we passed by a mist system in the street advised against ever going near them.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

This is going to be a catastrophe.

"We feel it is necessary to discuss how to deal with various medical cases in coming months."

That's the spirit. Clock up those hours sucking your teeth in meetings, agree on an action point of "We intend to make sincere efforts," do bugger all about the manifest problems, then just hope for the best.

Then when people start dying, pretend it was unforeseeable and do a deep bow with teary eyes and it'll blow over.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Time to introduce the tenugui to the rest of the world!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Lets be realistic, its too late to reschedule. TV networks, travel companies, 10 million tourists, and Japanese businesses have already locked in the dates. Keep cool, wear hat, drink lots of cold drinks and carry a parasol. Volunteers can wander the streets of Tokyo spraying cold water over citixens.

Everyone will be fine, bring on 2020 now!!

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Be safe everyone, As Ganbare Japan said keep hydrated and bring on Tokyo 2020.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Ganbare Japan! I do agree that on a practical level, a lot of changes will have to be made by a lot of people. However, I think it would be worth it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

August was chosen cos its "holiday season" and Jinc want all the tourist to spend lots of money, nothing more.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

@Kobe White Bar Owner

No, August was chosen because the American networks demanded it.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

As other posters have mentioned, the Olympic committee originally proposed the game to be held in October, however US and European TV networks demanded it be held in August so as not to clash with professional sports events.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If the organising committee were really concerned about the heat they would have held the games later in the year. But profits come before the well-being of athletes and spectators.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ha I thought this WBGT thing was an article about LGBT LOL!!

Why on earth introduce a new system last minute for measuring heat humidity etc

Where I am from news always announce the temp & then how it FEELS with humidity, like 28C with humidity feels like 31C  so bloody SIMPLE, working like a charm for many decades back home!!

And in winter they add wind chill factor SIMPLE!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo was the worst possible place to choose to hold the Olympics. Sapporo would have been a better choice. Mild summer climate, a relatively small population and a lot of open spaces. Next year is going to be a mess.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

So make sure that you carry at least one change of dry clothing with you, as by the time you you arrive at the office you'll be soaking wet from walking under the sprinklers, unless of course you are one of the lucky few able to work from home.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

There’ll be plenty of bare chested foreigners walking around Tokyo next summer, for sure!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I hope when tickets are sent out overseas, it will include warnings and information about dealing with the heat and humidity. I remember the first time I came here during the summer, it hit you as soon as you walked off the plane.

If it is hot in September like last year, hope Tokyo2020 will be watching how the Rugby players and spectators are coping in the world cup.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There’ll be plenty of bare chested foreigners walking around Tokyo next summer, for sure!

Girls better be some of them here

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Common sense.

The athletes will be training in hot climates in preparation for their events. Spectators should as well.

Just be prepared. If you know you'll be outdoors in the heat, give your body a few weeks of practice BEFORE to learn to handle the higher temperatures. Prepare your body to sit in the sun with little breeze, sweating, 4 hours.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

its not quite as crazy as holding the World Cup in Qatar (which was a result of bribery) but it should never be held in August in Tokyo.

It’s not too late to move the marathon to Hokkaido.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We've been quite Lucky that aside from Thursday and Friday it was unseasonably COOL so far this summer. It won't stay that way, and I very much doubt it'll be a repeat next year. Get ready for the "death Olympics". None of these countermeasures will do a thing to stop massive Numbers of heatstroke. And what's going to happen when the lead runners in a marathon collapse as a result? They can't very well say it was fair and award others medals. There is going to be a lot of contention over the results, that's for sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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