Australian Olympic softball team players wait for their antigen tests after arriving at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, on Tuesday. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/Pool via AP
tokyo 2020 olympics

Australian Olympic softball team arrives in Japan

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What happened to the IOC statement, "athletes will show up two or three days before the event and leave after the last event"

What happened to the IOC statement, "athletes will go directly to the Olympic village with no contact with the population."

This team arrived over a month and a half out from the start and is going to play "training" games with Japanese teams.

This team lives in a hotel hours away from the Olympic village.

This team will have to have interaction with the hotel staff and the teams they play the "training" games with.

32 ( +33 / -1 )

I feel sorry for these wonderful women who are being used as Coates' pawns.

How come they couldn't play together in Australia since February 2020? We are continually told the country is virus free.

It's safer to come to Japan to practice during an SOE?

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Yes, a disgrace they are abused by their olympic committee which should protect them but also their selfishness is a disgrace. And it is absolutely unprofessional and a mistake to come this early and be subjected to harsh n ear prison conditions in completely unsuitable rooms in a business style hotel. I predict problems with depression and with the team spirit within the 2nd week. Shame on the coach and the entire staff yet, their selfishness and the absolute disregard for the health of the Japanese people is sad and stunning. What an olympic spirit, Bah !

19 ( +25 / -6 )

Readers, please do not insult the athletes. It is petty and spiteful.

The squad will be playing local teams and winnowing down athletes to a 15-woman side before moving into the Olympic Village in Tokyo on July 17.

And that's how the virus gets into the Olympic Village.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Monty:

Will the japanese population be safe from you?

Given the pandemic situation in Japan and Australia, the question should be, Will the players be safe from the Japanese population? Have you looked at the current stats for both countries?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

*Will the japanese population be safe *from you?

Even you are vaccined you can spread the virus...

Probably...since Australia has next to no cases comparing to Japan...however .when athletes and especially the hangers on from countries that have serious covid variation situation atm start coming then start worrying.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

So Tokyo is in lockdown and Melbourne, Australia’s second biggest city is in lockdown, (because of the extremely contagious “India” variant), we welcome people for close contact sport without two week quarantine?

and coaches, support team etc...

9 ( +14 / -5 )

@Monty

As there is very little to no community transmission in Australia the chances of our athletes spreading the virus would be next to nil.

The risk would be from locally acquired infection.

Stay safe everyone

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"But look, we're all prepared for it, we want to do everything that we can to make sure that we're safe when we get there and we're safe while we're in Japan as well."

Will the japanese population be safe from you?

Even you are vaccined you can spread the virus...

7 ( +24 / -17 )

Now, that they're here, let's see if the cases of COVID start to go up in their "host town" of Ota City in Gunma in the weeks to follow.

Oh, yes, they've been "asked" to stay at their hotel when not practicing at the ballpark, but I wonder if they'll comply since the request was never mandatory, but just a polite request. A quick run to a nearby combini maybe?

A beer or two at the local izakaya?

Will all of them stay put as required?

That's to be seen.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

How about the other athletes? Will the teams from India also be allowed to just come? Where is the level playing field among all the athletes? It is not fair that some of the team are not able to keep in shape and practice. For this reason alone, the Olympics should be cancelled now. But this early arrival is a political statement to push the Olympics forward now no matter what.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

・Foreign athletes are kept in lockdown.

・Japanese athletes are free to go anywhere they want to.

They both mix together during the games at the ballpark and maybe even between games.

How's this preventing the spread of COVID?

If you lock people you have to lock everyone not just the foreigners otherwise the virus' still going to spread.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

So they didn't play together since February in a country that is virtually free from covid; But they come to a country that is riddled with infections, different variants, spiking numbers of deaths, strained medical system, shortage of medical staff, under state of emergency and failing to vaccinate even a slight number of its population to train together.

Should I say ridiculous; or the point has been made.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Welcome to Japan I hope you quarantined your self and don’t leave you hotel until you meet the conditions and requirements

5 ( +5 / -0 )

nice. Getting a ride on the the coates/coe payroll. hopes and prayers.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

A timing catastrophe waiting to cause massive panic. Don't get me wrong, I love Australia but this is bad timing for us all.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

It must be an Australian thing?

I remember living there and telling friends ‘Don’t come over tonight, we’re feeling sick.’

Sure enough half an hour later guess who’s pulling into the driveway.

This is exactly the same.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Coming from a country which has covid-19 under control to one which isn't even close, must be a a really hard thing to do.

These athletes are vaccinated, covid free, from a covid free (give take) country. I really hope that no Japanese people infect them and ruin what is more than likely a lifelong dream.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

For the "regular ones" there is 2 weeks quarantine besides other things.

For Australia's softball team none, it seems.

Arrive 2 or three days before the (Olympic) event and get out when it's over .... nothing to see here!

Bring your own medical staff .... are they included in the 10 member staff? Now that wouldn't be a lot of coaches and so on.

This whole "thing" stinks more and more and I only remember what an old Roman emperor said:

"pecunea non olet!" Because this and not losing face are the only explanations I can come up with.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Australia team won't bring any virus to Japan,actually it could be the other way around with one of the Aussie team get the Covid from here.

Furthermore another key problem is the medical,logistic and human resources wasted for this theatre which could be diverted for all the people living and working in Japan which include the expats as well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They are allowed in but not others, like family members of permanent residents or foreign students. Equality for all is the rule of the day.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I wonder why they came so early. I think they'll get bored very quickly. They've trained in Ota three times before and know the city but being cooped up in their hotel and training at the baseball ground every day until they play some warm-up games in July will be an ordeal.

At least, it's good for the hotel. The team has three floors booked out, plus meals, etc, until July 17. That should help the various local businesses that supply the hotel.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I feel bad for the athletes as they'll be followed around and watched 24/7 by unknown individuals wearing masks (mostly silvers in their 60s and 70s) who are there only to make the public feel secure, just in case something happens, like they lose their mask, or cough, or something.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The Olympics are quite rightly a hot topic in Japan, and I sympathise completely with the vast majority of Japanese residents who don’t want them to be held at this time. However I’ve seen virtually zero discussion in the Australian media re the opposition of the Japanese people toward the Games, and given the fact that most elite Western athletes live in a bubble at the best of times, it’s likely that these softballers have no idea of what they’re flying into.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Welcome to Japan! Now get on the plane and go back home!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Thank you very much Japan for letting in athletes BUT not my wife, not any student, not any worker. So good to feel myself as a 3rd or 4th or 5th-grade person. Already regretted choosing this country as a place to live and study.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Photo: The opposite of social distancing.

Australia. Less than 2% of the country is fully vaccinated. A population of approximately 25 million. That's roughly 500,000 immunized individuals.

Japan. 2.5% of the country is fully vaccinated. A population of approximately 127 million. That's roughly 3.2 million individuals. Six times the number of immunized Australians.

The disease vector that spreads SARSCoV-2 is not completely linear and exponential, it has a random element. Hence, a wide dispersal in addition to linear. The variance or mutation is a viral strategy to increase the number of infected, which will certainly be present at The Olympics in consideration of the number of staff domestic and international. At a minimum there will be approximately 250,000 staff and participants.

As an example of the spread of the virus in a contained environment with no immunity. There were 3,711 passengers on the Diamond cruise ship. 565 out of 2,666 passengers and 145 of 1,045 crew were infected with SARSCoV-2. A total of An infection rate of approximately 25%. 14% of the crew and 21% of passengers. An infection rate of 20%.

It is no accident or coincidental circumstance that the IOCs Coates is from Australia. The ploy is to create the illusion there is no public health threat to Japan. 33 individuals. Hardly a viable representation. 11,000 athletes to be crowded into the Olympic Village. Let alone staff and volunteers.

Note there are ten staff for an eventual roster of 15. That ratio will be replicated amongst the various teams.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

What happened to the 3 day rule of arriving before the event then leave 5 days after? This is the first of many not to follow as another PR lie from all parties. They should have not been let into immigration if this is the rule.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Goodlucktoyou: Tokyo is in 'Lockdown' Really? Do you even live here?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Good luck! You are in for a ride.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

From the Japan Times - pertinent in terms of the arrival of the Australian Olympic softball team. Article that follows this one. Interesting, in light of those who opine about Japan's restrictions on travel. And, a degree of irony, considering IOC Coates is from Australia.

An Australian court on Tuesday rejected a challenge to the federal government’s draconian power to prevent most citizens from leaving the country so that they don’t bring COVID-19 home.

Australia is alone among developed democracies in preventing its citizens and permanent residents from leaving the country except in “exceptional circumstances” where they can demonstrate a “compelling reason.”

Australian Broadcasting Corp last week reported its own survey had found 79% of respondents agree the international border should stay shut until the pandemic is under control globally.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They are allowed in but not others, like family members of permanent residents or foreign students. Equality for all is the rule of the day.

They should become the hanger-ons of some Olympic athlete. They would be welcomed by open arms.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thanks Bert.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Go Aussies!!!!!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I don't know what softball is.

Why not focus the content of the article on sports too ?

I hope they get to play and enjoy.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Welcome to Japan to celebrate the spectacle of the 32nd Olympics. Its nice to see quasi tourists once again gracing the shores of Japan. These Olympics are the beginning of the return to normality.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

we shouldnt have anyone from overseas until we have vaccinated 82.5% of the population as mandated by WHO

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Good luck ladies. Glad to see the safety measures being taken and the general public can be relieved the Olympics is no danger to them.

The world is in dire need of a pick me up and the games can provide that.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

That's right Steve - The Euros and Olympics coming up - Great Armchair Sport for us all.

World doe indeed need a pick up in these strange times!

Again..Welcome to Tokyo 2020! Good Luck!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

ModeratorToday  08:18 am JST

Readers, please do not insult the athletes. It is petty and spiteful

Bravo.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

The fearmongers would have you believe that every single athlete arriving in Japan has covid.

Can people just chill out for a second?

-19 ( +7 / -26 )

Welcome to Japan! Looking forward to watching you on TV with a Beer in my hand. Best of luck!

-22 ( +6 / -28 )

It’s going to be a great Olympics. Go Japan!

-30 ( +3 / -33 )

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