Athletes take part in the men's 3,000 meters steeplechase final at the National Stadium in Tokyo during an Olympic test event on May 9. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato
tokyo 2020 olympics

Fear of missing out keeps athletes onside for Tokyo

14 Comments
By Nick Mulvenney

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© Thomson Reuters 2021.

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14 Comments
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Anyone who competes at the Olympics gets branded as an Olympian, which can have huge advantages in their later career. This branding from simply going to the Olympics can be more effective than someone winning championships in the same sports.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, that athletes are mostly against cancelling the games is quite obvious, it would be like asking airline executives their opinion on restricting travel.

Nobody denies that an international event could have some positive effect, the problem is that the negative effects from holding it vastly surpasses the gains. All kinds of people have lost opportunities, jobs, savings or dreams because of the measures necessary to prevent lots of unnecessary deaths, athletes are not that special and there is nothing wrong for them to also make sacrifices like the rest of the population in order to have a better control of the pandemic in a city where things can go down very quickly at any moment.

Japan simply dropped the ball on the pandemic during a whole year and failed to do what many other countries have done to control the spreading, if vaccines were approved and distributed the same as the US for example the games would not represent such a heavy risk.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

It looks like there is too much money (and corruption) involved for Japan, the IOC, or the Olympic teams from other countries to cancel, so putting an end to this insane event in the middle of a pandemic in a country where almost no one has been tested or vaccinated will fall to individual athletes pulling out.

Right now, no one wants to, but once a few start, then others will follow and the Olympics will be over (and lives saved). Individual athletes need to be brave enough to say they are not going, and to know that the public supports them when they do so.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Someone said CCP/ er China and some other powerful players in western Euro need Japan to host the Olympics so they can deliver their modified v-strains on the entire Japanese population. Thankfully I'm not involved in any of it.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Whether this Olympics happens or not, the image of the Olympics has been tainted.

Post pandemic there should be a new style of Olympics, instead of one big event that benefits big corporations. I'm thinking giving the power back to the people, having 10 simultaneous Olympics held in 10 different countries, for example, France would hold long jump, tennis....Japan martial arts, Nigeria, marathon and so on, change the countries every four years.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Decrying that Japan is the only laggard in vaccinating the population warrants examination.

Fully inoculated:

USA: 35% Canada: 3.5%. Germany: 10%. Italy: 13%. Brazil: 7.5%. Russia: 6.2%. South Korea: 1.2%. Egypt: 0.2%. France 13%. Spain: 14%. Ireland 10%. New Zealand: 2.4% India: 2.8%

All of those countries intend to send athletes to the Olympic Games.

The "ray of light" assertions are the utterance of a meaningless cliché, which completely masks the current situation, which is a worldwide epidemic. The number of individuals aka athletes who will prosper due to 'winning' at the games is a very small number. Unfortunate, their path to greater glory is impeded, but the common good outweighs individual accomplishment under the circumstances.

All the rhetoric about "togetherness", "beacons of hope", "breaks boundaries" and such is simply theatrics with no actual relation to reality. In 2021, it would mostly be a super-spreader event, no mention of that by athletic spokespeople, pegged to cheer on the Games. All of it disingenuous - which is to be kind.

Essentially, the measure of the Olympics is money - as sport has been monetized into a spectacle sponsored and determined economically by conglomerates invested in various facets of sport aka athletics. To put it cheaply, selling shoes or whatever contrivance is being peddled in the marketplace. To give a brand a face. It is wed to marketing stratagems. Athleticism is secondary.

To be an Olympic athlete is an accomplishment few achieve. That is easily realized. Unfortunately, there is a pandemic. Holding the Olympics in a war zone would be frowned upon. Same should apply to a pandemic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Someone said CCP/ er China and some other powerful players in western Euro need Japan to host the Olympics so they can deliver their modified v-strains on the entire Japanese population.

Who said that? Some QAnon person? Some GQP member? Someone who went up to Trump and said 'Sir,....'?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Those comments from the athletes show how self absorbed and blind to public opinion they are.

World champion sprinter Noah Lyles, who is hoping to compete at his first Games, said he was not overly concerned about his own health.

"I got vaccinated pretty early," the American told Reuters.

"Now that the vaccine is a lot more accessible to people in the world, it gives me more security that going into the Olympics, it will be safer and we won't have too many issues. Of course everyone is taking those extra precautions to make sure we don't have to deal with it."

So that's alright then, never mind that you're coming into and can still bring the virus into a largely unvaccinated country.......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

From yesterday:

Tokyo Olympic sponsor Toyota 'conflicted' over Games

> "As sponsors, it breaks our heart to see public discontent aimed at athletes,"

Now you know why there is public discontent aimed at athletes.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Pukey2 Thankfully, I'm not involved in any of it.

Enjoy.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Steeplechase. Used to do that. It is an awesome race. And that's all I want to see: we don't need spectators. We can watch it on TV. I just want to see the steeplechase.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Perhaps you’re not aware of ‘sitting volleyball’ @Laguna 5:37pm?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would liken those who drop out of the Tokyo Olympics as being Freedom Fighters, to those who succumb to the pressures of the IOC as being potential Prisoners of Conscience.

Which side would you prefer to be on ?

Especially if after the Olympics, the pandemic take a massive hold and wipes out the majority of the Japanese Population... would that impact your feelings ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese tennis players Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori last weekend did voice concerns about the Games, urging "discussion" over the potential impact of 10,000 athletes descending on their country.

Tennis is one of the few sports where an Olympic medal is not the most prestigious prize in the game, however, and it is the less high profile athletes who have most to lose from the cancellation of the Games.

In other words, nobody cares about tennis players' voices.

Nishikori shouldn't be talking about the Olympics while playing in Italy which still remains in a worse state than Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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