Under pressure, IOC presses ahead with Tokyo Olympics
May 13, 2021 - The IOC, the body that runs the Olympic movement, is resisting calls to cancel the Tokyo Olympics, despite surging Covid-19 cases in Japan.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo planners and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga are continuing to press ahead with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics – already postponed from last year – despite overwhelming negative public opinion, and surging Covid-19 cases.
Adding to the discord is the IOC's call for the Japanese Nursing Association to volunteer 500 nurses to work at Olympic sites, thus removing them from vital duties treating patients with Covid-19.
Additionally, the IOC says some 10,000 medical workers will be needed during the Games, which are taking place during the hottest time of year in Japan. Many hospitals are full to capacity and struggling to cope with mounting cases as Japan struggles with a fourth deadly wave of coronavirus infections.
In related news, some leading tennis players such as Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams are casting doubts as to whether they will turn up to the event at all, citing safety and travel concerns.
And in ominous news that is sure to dishearten athletics fans, Team USA has cancelled plans for a pre-Olympic training camp in Japan because of the virus.
Somewhat ironically, IOC President Thomas Bach has even postponed a trip to Japan himself, because of the continued surge in coronavirus cases that have caused a state of emergency to be extended in the host nation.
- Amid opposition, Japan PM says has “never put Olympics first” (Reuters)
- Japan nurses voice anger at call to volunteer for Tokyo Olympics amid Covid crisis (The Guardian)
- IOC President Thomas Bach postpones trip to Japan amid spike in coronavirus cases (The Washington Post)
- Broadcast revenue from the Summer Olympic Games from 1960 to 2016 (Statista)
- Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives (Change.org)