Thanks to Covid and some bizarre rule changes, Tokyo 2020 will be a sterile event sorely missing the vibrant international pulse we’re accustomed to. Sadly, this charade should have been canceled, not just postponed.
In what appears to be a last-ditch attempt at damage control, Thomas Bach, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, has called Tokyo the “best ever prepared” city to host the Olympics with just hours to go before the official lighting of the flame.
Unfortunately, few people will be able to put that statement to the test since spectators have been summarily banned from attending the event after Japan declared a state of emergency due to a spike in Covid cases. A mere handful of athletes have tested positive for the virus in the Olympic village. Will testing negative for Covid be included among the sporting events?
Joking aside, it should be remembered that the participation of athletes is just as crucial for a successful Olympics as the presence of spectators, the living witnesses to historic acts of glory.