Journalists gather outside the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Village last month. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko/File
tokyo 2020 olympics

COVID means business is far from usual in Olympic athletes village

34 Comments
By Junko Horiuchi

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

A laboratory set up near the fever clinic is expected to analyze nearly 18,000 samples a day, according to the organizers.

For the past year and a half, the city of Tokyo (14 million people) has never in a single day tested 18,000 people and has tested more than 10,000 per day only a handful of times.

Had they offered this testing ability to the citizens of Tokyo, then there may not be a need for the State of Emergency during the Games.

26 ( +31 / -5 )

The epicentre of the superspreader event.......they are NOT going to be able to control the inmates me thinks!!!

13 ( +18 / -5 )

COVID means ‘the loss of small’ business ‘across Japan” - The IOCLDPJOC were the real “winners” in Their Tokyo Olympic Games - (“At Any Cost”)

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Olympic "Village"? Sounds more like Olympic Prison to me. All that's missing are armed guards and razor wire.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

All that's missing are armed guards and razor wire.

What do you mean "missing"?

8500 SDF troops will garrison around the Village and other venues for the whole Olympics.

But yeah, the 3 meter high fence surrounding the Village (as seen in the pic above) doesn't have razor wire... yet.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

And still no mention if the workers in the village who have Covid. Covid is already there.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Last week 2 workers at the Olympic village tested positive. News released yesterday https://www.9news.com.au/world/coronavirus-tokyo-olympics-two-workers-test-positive-olympic-village/4c6755c8-361a-48e2-b8c2-225e29487a35

interesting how it seems not to be reported in the Japanese press. I think we can expect a lot of such selective choice of stories in the next few week in the spirit of cooperation with the government on what to report about covid and the Olympics. Foreign visitor cases okay, local cases ???

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Olympic athletes are requested to check-in no more than five days before they compete.

BUT

The village officially opens on July 13, 10 days before the Olympic opening ceremony.

UMM

Olympic athletes are then required to vacate the villages within two days of the end of their events.

BUT

The village will serve as a base for athletes until three days after the closing ceremony on Aug 8.

They can’t even get this right. Why would you open longer than necessary if athletes “aren’t supposed to” check in 5 days before or leave two days after?

And how many teams have already been in Japan for days or even weeks up until now?

"We needed to put a lot of restrictions on athletes. I imagine that being asked to put on masks at all times except when eating and in competition will be quite tough for international athletes," said Tokyo 2020 Village Mayor Saburo Kawabuchi.

Or even quite tough for some Japanese people to understand in daily life.

Athletes and team officials should adjust their dining hours to avoid busy times, using the monitors to inform their plans, organizers said.

As should Japanese businesses and schools. They still make people go to lunch and take vacations all at the same time. They can’t even adjust times to help spread out the burden of losing an employee to vacation time or allowing people to adapt and go at off periods to eat.

Non stop double standards and contradictions going on with all of this.

Just like yesterday and their human billboards during the races, telling spectators to go home, yet they employ people to just stand there during the race. Huh?

Where is your head at, Japan? Who is running this circus?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

This place has been dubbed Biohazard Village by Yahoo Japan. It's probably advisable to keep as far away from it as possible.

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/1edd2bcbe11be5855776c8f31ee2bb75ef799669

10 ( +13 / -3 )

You could not design a more depressing place if you tried.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Bollards outnumber trees in that photograph 25 to 1. Massive rows of grey concrete, not a single patch of grass. What a miserable soulless place.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

If that photo is a typical representation of the village, it seems to be entirely apposite given the overall atmosphere surrounding the event. Dismal, uninspiring, and only to be remembered for the wrong reasons.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

interesting how it seems not to be reported in the Japanese press. I think we can expect a lot of such selective choice of stories in the next few week in the spirit of cooperation with the government on what to report about covid and the Olympics. Foreign visitor cases okay, local cases ???

The squeeky clean image has to be maintained at all cost even if it means concealing the truth.

Journalism at it's finest.

I am sure the local media is already making plans to run around asking the foreign athletes about

the usual questions. Is it your first time to Japan, what do you think of Japan , do you like Japanese food,

What do you think about Japanese toilet,

Q: Where are you from ? Ans: U.S Next Q:Do you know Otani Shoei ?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

The most prominent pandemic-related addition at the Harumi village is a new fever clinic set up to provide medical care and polymerase chain reaction tests to residents who suspect they may have been infected with the coronavirus. Symptoms or not, athletes will be tested daily in the village.

Meanwhile, throughout this pandemic we the plebs even if we coughed blood and with obvious symptoms

couldn't still get a tests no matter how hard we tried, it all depended on the welfare official's interpretation of the ambiguous criteria to qualify for a test or mode of the local welfare official. No tests means if you are infected you fly under the radar and are not counted. Hundred's of thousand have been allowed to fly under

the radar undetected helping to keep alive the narrative that "Japan has fared better than country A,B,C,D"

5 ( +8 / -3 )

This is just one more reason why I think the Olympics is destined to fail on a grand scale. I think it should so that certain people in the JOC will get axed from their jobs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bollards outnumber trees in that photograph 25 to 1. Massive rows of grey concrete, not a single patch of grass. What a miserable soulless place."

That can,t be -this is supposed to be the green / eco Olympics J-govt said. Lets paint some of those concrete walls green , quick.

For the past year and a half, the city of Tokyo (14 million people) has never in a single day tested 18,000 people and has tested more than 10,000 per day only a handful of times."

So true...despicable.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The appearance is so modern Japan-drab, grey, boring.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I kinda have a little more respect the athletes. To live in that prison, then compete in front of no one, to no fanfare. Then get kicked the hell outta town when you’re done. You would have to love what you do.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

dont travel to Tokyo at least this summer-just one good advice

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

These Olympics are going to be the most soulless, joyless, pointless observation of an unnecessary ceremony ever recorded in human history. Just look at that bleak concrete landscape there. Like Stalin-era Gdansk with smartphones.

Olympic athletes are requested to check-in no more than five days before they compete

So why are the teams from Uganda, Serbia and Ghana already here, each bringing a special Delta omiyage? Where are they staying, and do they get the same 3-day quarantine that Bach and Coates get?

This whole process is an absolute disgrace. Brought in by emotional blackmail (remember the people of Tohoku?) and jammed through on a lie (to celebrate humanity's victory over COVID).

Shame on anyone involved.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Concrete, bitumen and more concrete with not a tree to be seen. Welcome athletes to a baking Tokyo summer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Concrete, bitumen and more concrete with not a tree to be seen.

Somewhere Alex Kerr is shaking his head.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

 am sure the local media is already making plans to run around asking the foreign athletes about

the usual questions. Is it your first time to Japan, what do you think of Japan , do you like Japanese food,

What do you think about Japanese toilet,

And the last question and request from Japanese to foreigners. Please tell us your message to your Japanese friends.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The most prominent pandemic-related addition at the Harumi village is a new fever clinic set up to provide medical care and polymerase chain reaction tests to residents who suspect they may have been infected with the coronavirus. Symptoms or not, athletes will be tested daily in the village.

The article makes it sound like this clinic will be the place doing the 18,000 plus daily PCR tests.

It will not.

The test samples will be sent out to public and private labs around Tokyo along with all the rest.

One major problem is that with all labs going Tokyo has barely been able to test over 10,000 a day.

So how will it test over 18,000 a day and not affect the testing of the local population?

Short answer it can't and we are going to Seva sharp drop in testing of the local population.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I'd guess those gunning for the podium won't really care about socializing. It will be a bummer for those who don't have a chance to medal and just want to enjoy the experience.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Looks like neo-Stalinist - Brutalist architecture from Eastern Europe. The remarks dubbing it as dismal environs will fit these particular games. Politics and profit are the markers of this sporting event, which is pure spectacle in the best of times. The athletes are just showpieces for marketing schemas. Employing bizzarro jingoist jargon and we are the world, up with people cheery nonsense.

It is all based on a foundation of cardboard, literally, the athletes beds made of recycled cardboard mirror the entirety. Couched as being Green aka the eco-Olympics.

As stated: The Biohazard Olympics. The legacy of the IOC, JOC big fat corporations, Comcast/NBCU, sporting apparel & shoe companies - all have carried their bad karma forward to this juncture.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Sounds more like a prison to me, if I was an athlete with an ounce of dignity left I would leave before competing in the most pathetic games in history.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

bs you all and me know, that this bubble is one of the two places without any corona restrictions, from partying over girls to illegal drugs.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This pandemic has virtually defined the stay for athletes as interment, inmates.

Cameras have been set up overlooking public spaces such as the dining hall, casual dining area, fitness center and recreation space, to allow congestion levels to be monitored.

I suppose the organizers has little choice.

"We needed to put a lot of restrictions on athletes. I imagine that being asked to put on masks at all times except when eating and in competition will be quite tough for international athletes," said Tokyo 2020 Village Mayor Saburo Kawabuchi.

"We also asked many things, like to leave dining halls as early as possible, even though at previous games athletes were able to mingle," Kawabuchi said.

You can see the risks, what when groups of likeminded form and start to rebel? And refuse? Send them home?

That is not remotely feasible, an example would be a group reaching the finals of an event congregating to celebrate, they are politely requested to desist, they refuse. What then?

None of this makes any logical sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah right it will be one big cluster bring on the new strain TO2021 seems like a fitting name to me.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"We needed to put a lot of restrictions on athletes. I imagine that being asked to put on masks at all times except when eating and in competition will be quite tough for international athletes," said Tokyo 2020 Village Mayor Saburo Kawabuchi.

I love the implication here that these are seemingly new restrictions that athletes won't be familiar with, because of course no country has handled Covid as well as Japan. Foreigners won't understand things like wearing masks or having multiple seasons.

If anything, athletes will be shocked at how little is done especially in the realms of testing and social distancing where it actually matters (hi trains). There is plenty of performative measures taken, but that is all they are.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The Fundamentals of Olympic Values Education

https://www.icsspe.org/system/files/The%20Fundamentals%20of%20Olympic%20Values%20Education.pdf

Scroll down to page 73

Play Together, Live Together: The Olympic Village

Olympic athletes need stadiums in which to compete, but they also need places to sleep, eat and relax. That’s what the Olympic Village is for.

In the Olympic Village, each country has its own living space, but there are common eating and recreation areas where people from all countries sit side by side. In addition to places to eat and sleep, the Olympic Village also provides a marketplace where athletes can shop for things they need, and entertainment for the times when they are not competing.

Imagine it! There are no borders between countries, no barriers separating people, except for language. People from countries that may even be at war with each other can live, eat and play together.

Can the organizers not even for a moment comprehend a fundamental paradox?

18000 athletes from up 200 countries in a once in a lifetime opportunity to live, eat and play together.

Only to be presented with barriers, wire mesh fencing, rules, restrictions. and surveillance cctv.

Anyone seriously suggesting that resentment will soon grow, and eventually boil over.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Cameras have been set up overlooking public spaces such as the dining hall, casual dining area, fitness center and recreation space.....

If I were a young girl, following recent events at Japanese schools and train stations, also considering the notorious obsessions of Japanese men with young, very young women, I wouldn't feel particularly comfortable at the presence of cameras everywhere.

To the moderator: for as much as this might sound harsh, please do not delete it. It is not out of topic. I am positively commenting on one of the aspects discussed in the article, the presence of cameras just about everywhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The AOC are another who will not insist that competitors be vaccinated. It infringes of their right to privacy laws. But do insist that all paralympicans are vaccinated. Seem like the disable are not entitle to the same rights to privacy laws.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites