When it comes to the 2020 Olympics, it appears that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The event, now scheduled for July 23 through August 8, 2021, will feature boxing, wrestling, judo taekwondo and the debut of karate—if the Olympics take place at all.
Tokyo 2020 was originally postponed until the summer of 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A postponement rather than an outright cancellation has drawn backlash from Japan’s own citizens, let alone the rest of the world.
COVID-19 and Tokyo 2020
Michelle Bruton of Forbes wrote on Jan. 22, “This month, 77% of Japanese people polled by NHK said they want the Tokyo Games to be either canceled or further postponed.”
The WHO is reporting “Globally, as of 4:30pm CET, 16 February 2021, there have been 108,822,960 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 2,403,641 deaths, reported to WHO…In Japan, from Jan 3 to 4:30pm CET, 16 February 2021, there have been 417,765 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 7,015 deaths.”
Things are not looking good for the host country despite its COVID-19 statistics trending downward recently. However, the latest bad news is more of a public relations problem.
Tokyo 2020 without a Leader
The now former Tokyo Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori resigned after making sexist comments, saying that women talk too much during meetings. The Guardian reported that Mori told this to those attending a Japan Olympic Committee earlier this month.
“Referring to his time as chairman of the Japan Rugby Football Union, the 83-year-old said: “Women have a strong sense of rivalry. If one raises her hand to speak, all the others feel the need to speak, too. Everyone ends up saying something.”
As of Feb. 10, the current and first female governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike then said she would be taking a stand. She intends on boycotting a meeting with Japan’s sports minister Seiko Hashimoto and the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. The meeting would have included Mori.
The search is now on for Mori’s replacement. In the meantime, the government has bigger problems to deal with.
Earthquake in Tokyo
On Saturday reports began to emerge that the host city had been rocked by an earthquake. CNN reported on Feb. 15 it was a 7.1 magnitude earthquake. Earthquakes are measured with the Richter scale, which has no upper limit according to the U.S. government.
The CNN report referred to a 9.0 Tokyo earthquake a decade ago which caused a tsunami and nuclear disaster. Saturday’s earthquake occurred at the start of the Olympic torch relay. The relay is supposed to begin in less than six weeks.
Despite all of this, those in charge of putting on the Olympics have insisted they will move forward with staging Tokyo 2020. The Scrap will have more information as it develops.