tokyo 2020 olympics

Heat a major issue at Olympic tennis venue

36 Comments
By ANDREW DAMPF

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36 Comments
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Yep, as predicted.

There was a lot of "discussion" about the sultry summer heat in 2018-2019, yet even though they somehow only then realized how bad it was gonna be, by that point rescheduling the Games to maybe September was impossible.

But by unimaginable chance, the opportunity did come about to reschedule.

And yet they chose the same exact dates.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

Nothing like sweltering heat to kill a tennis player. I know. I've played in 30C heat and it's torture. Add to that the humidity in Japan in July and someone's gonna die. Or almost.

I've got my fingers crossed that it doesn't happen.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Olympians are competing in the biggest event of their lives under conditions that have prompted local authorities to recommend regular people avoid outdoor exercise.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The instant I heard Japan won the host city bid a decade ago, this was the first thing that sprang to my mind. Not saying I'm wiser or more knowledgeable than anyone else, like Olympic organizers or Japan's policymakers, but I'm just sayin'...

12 ( +14 / -2 )

French Open finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova grasped for an air tube during a medical timeout and grew frustrated at the lack of ice in a court-side container.

The best organized Olympics since the last best organized Olympics.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

"Olympic tennis 2021: Put your health and even your life on the line for the nice American broadcast people and so Mr. Bach's pile of money can grow in tandem with his ego".

11 ( +13 / -2 )

This is all on NBC and other broadcast right holders. They were the ones that demanded the games be held now when there is a break in the sporting calendar in the US. IF anyone dies, I hope they are prosecuted for manslaughter.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

What is really expected for July in Japan-not having ice and water on hand is despicable!

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I really need to hear what excuse is being offered for not having something so basic as ice available for the athletes.

Japan has mortgaged the next 40 years to pay for this fiasco. Why did they fail to provide ice?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

*Perhaps it’s Japan engaging in cultural exchange and trying to install the same ‘gaman spirit’ in foreigners.*

Not entirely impossible.

Years back I was an ALT at a junior high school and the school decided to show the kids a movie. It was of an athlete in (if memory serves, this was a while back) the 50KM walk (or "the waddle" as I like to call it) at a previous Olympics.

This athlete was into the stadium for the end of the race, but was clearly and seriously dehydrated, flailing all over the place. I mean, zero limb co-ordination. Somehow she got to the end and promptly collapsed.

The teachers then told the kids that this was all about doing your best and never quitting.

Being a lowly ALT with no status, I thought it prudent not to suggest that it was more about stupidly risking your life for reasons of ego.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

The instant I heard Japan won the host city bid a decade ago, this was the first thing that sprang to my mind. Not saying I'm wiser or more knowledgeable than anyone else, like Olympic organizers or Japan's policymakers, but I'm just sayi.

Actually the previous 1964 Tokyo Games started at October 10th. It could have been much better has the 2020 Games been able to followed it. The top American media sponsor NBC had been insisted on the current scorching period in order to avoid conflicting schedules of major sport events at home.

It's also often the case that some Olympics competitions start late night or earlier morning at local time, much troubling for attending athletes and organizers, but pretty suitable to most American viewers thanks to time lags.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Anyone who has lived in Tokyo long term knew this would be a big problem.

but at Tennis they could and should close the Ariake roof and crank up the aircon.

wouldn’t solve the problem at the outside courts but at least center court would be cool

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Hopefully this trickles down to schools who do sports days in the same heat.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is all on NBC and other broadcast right holders.

The Japanese bid committee knew the rules and conditions (ie, a "summer games" as opposed to an "autumn games), and they were more than happy to sign on the dotted line. In fact, they fought hard for the privilege.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If only someone, anyone at all, had known in advance that summer in Japan is hot! Guess no one knew!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@KentarogaijinToday  08:34 am JST

It's Japan and its summer, don't like it don't come..

What is really expected for July in Japan-not having ice and water on hand is despicable!

Go to combini, lol !!..

A very interesting point you made, kind of like a short cut to thinking.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well, if there are any serious incidents or deaths due to the intense heat and extreme humidity of holding these Games at the end of July, then NBC and the IOC should take full responsibility. In addition to the JOC/JGov. They and we already knew all this.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

To be fair, heat has been a recurring problem for tennis around the world; Melbourne springs to mind, for example.

Yes, but they have learned to deal with it - on the whole. The center court also has a roof that can be closed.

Japan might not have that level of facilities for the tennis here, but they could have ice and water wouldn’t be that hard to provide.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

 No Japanese complained about the heat

Seriously? You have to be kidding.

You have either never met a Japanese person during summer months, or you cant understand even basic Japanese.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

“They expected the heat and it wasn’t 100% ready for us.”

They were hoping, not planning.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

To be fair, heat has been a recurring problem for tennis around the world; Melbourne springs to mind, for example. If you're going to run it, you have to have the equipment in place. It must be super hard on the staff too.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This might be why, when the Olympics were held in Tokyo back in 1964, they held the Games in October.

Sweltering heat in Tokyo in July? Who could have guessed?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What is really expected for July in Japan-not having ice and water on hand is despicable!

Perhaps it’s Japan engaging in cultural exchange and trying to install the same ‘gaman spirit’ in foreigners.

You know, like school children practicing sport across the summer and what they have to through.

Water is for losers!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Too hot to play outdoor sports in the day time in Japanese summer…………

Anyone who’s anyone who spent 1 second in Japanese summer could have told you that.

Give me a break, this is common knowledge.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I know this is only the Olympics, they've only had eight years to prepare, money doesn't grow on trees and all that, but knowing the sport that was going to be played at the venue, couldn't they have adapted it a bit better to the conditions? I don't know, like for example awnings at the courts without roofs, so players have more shade and don't get blinded when they serve, cross ventilation, breeze machines to mitigate the closeness, dehumidifying technology, longer breaks to allow athletes to bring their body temperature down to safe levels. And of course, same for staff subjected to hours and hours in the same conditions.

Feeble I know, but you'd have hoped that shining the spotlight on these conditions would drag Japan's attitude to sport and gaman into the 21st century. The fact that sports contests are regularly done in these punishing and even dangerous conditions in Japan, particularly with children who are not as strong and have no choice is something that really needs to change. The lack of mitigation at the Olympics is showing up the need for these outdated attitudes to change. And if they did it, who knows, maybe some of those kids who grow to hate sport because it makes them feel ill would actually love it instead, and keep sport a part of their lives as adults.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And yet they chose the same exact dates.

The dates are chosen by NBC. Nothing more, nothing less.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

We never cancel any of our many trips throughout these beautiful islands with the variety of seasons, weather and people.

Hmmm. Do you eat Pocky on the trains?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

doubts started to creep into Pavlyuchenkova’s head as she shoved bags of ice up her skirt on a changeover.

Hey hey hey!

I know there's hardly people in the stands, but let's not more creeps into skirts, shall we? lol

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese teams have an advantage over many other who don’t know how to handle Japanese summer heat. Hence, they are likely to out endured the other and a high probability of getting medals

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

“But you have to play,” Medvedev said. “That’s the Olympics, you go for the medal. *Y*ou are not here to cry about the heat.”

YUP, that is why you get the big bucks. Think about the event staff. I don't see them complaining. I wonder why?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Tennis seems to be a coddling sport for the privileged and allow bad behavior.

I'm a long time tennis fan (and very low level amateur player) and I think this is more and more a recent phenomenon. When I was a kid tennis was considered a sport for the genteel middle class.

Back in the day, you had John McEnroe, but he was an outlier.

I remember reading a book written / co-written by Ivan Lendl. He said that growing up in Czechoslovakia, anyone in the local tennis club who was seen to throw their racket wouldn't just be thrown off the court, they'd be thrown out of the club. The way he phrased it: "there was little tolerance of bad behavior, and consequently there was little bad behavior".

I used to hear a joke about Björn Borg: you could tell when he was really mad about something because he'd raise an eyebrow.

It's probably the increased amount of money that's led to some of the less self-disciplined players we see today. Or just a colossal ego, like with Serena Williams. I mean, she has the right to be confident. Her record is proof of that, but that still doesn't allow her to speak to certain umpires the way she did.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I find the Japanese complain about the weather no matter what it is.

Too hot, too cloudy, too windy, no wind, too cold, too many clouds, too,tooo,tooooo Ne!

I take it all in stride. Everyday I wake up I feel happy to be alive, go exercise, see my friends and cook good food. We never cancel any of our many trips throughout these beautiful islands with the variety of seasons, weather and people.

To rehydrate, water does not need to be cold. To cool down your body you don’t need ice. Just wet the skin and use a fan. Sort of like sweating.

But so called high tech Japan could have put ice machines…automated ice machines all over the place perhaps? Restaurants have them. Very efficient machines by the way.

By the way, different sports have players with different attitudes. You don’t see baseball out fielders throwing their gloves on the ground and having temper tantrums. Tennis seems to be a coddling sport for the privileged and allow bad behavior. They could quietly ask their coaches to bring in truck loads of ice.

Stay cool everyone. Find a shady tree and enjoy life.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

And if they did it, who knows, maybe some of those kids who grow to hate sport because it makes them feel ill would actually love it instead

You mean like Sho Otani? Do you know anything about how sports are played in the US or the west? it looks like you dont.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

It's the same for both players. Stop complaining and just play.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

In my neighborhood all the middle schools and high schools are out in the heat practicing for sports day events. Parents watching. I stop to view sometimes but nobody complains. Could be a tennis issue.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

It's Japan and its summer, don't like it don't come..

What is really expected for July in Japan-not having ice and water on hand is despicable!

Go to combini, lol !!..

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

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