Amid a recently announced State of Emergency in Tokyo, officials have announced there will be no fans in attendance. With a new surge in COVID cases, particularly the Delta variant, Japan and Tokyo have been looking at the cases rise and have been putting forth measures to prevent further spread. While it may seem like the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided in many places in America and other countries, it is very much a real and ongoing issue in many places around the world. The Delta variant has made the fight even more difficult.
After a new state of emergency declared, Tokyo organizers announce no fans in Tokyo. “Faced with COVID 19, we have no other choice but to hold the Games in a limited way.”
— Nancy Armour (@nrarmour) July 8, 2021
As for the State of Emergency, it sounds like a mass lockdown or restrictions to prevent mass spread, however, that is not the case. Restaurants and bars will be asked not to serve alcohol, schools, stores, movie theatres, and other businesses will remain open, and there are no restrictions on meetings or gatherings of people.
Gearoid Reidy of Bloomberg News gave a breakdown of the situation in Tokyo ahead of the Games.
– workers *asked* to work from home where they can (takeup of this is limited enough)
– people *asked* to stay home where they can (ditto)
– tl;dr – it’s a not a lockdown, which Japan has never had and can’t put into place.
— Gearoid Reidy (@GearoidReidy) July 8, 2021
The Olympics are facing a lot of criticism and so are the officials in America and in other countries regarding their teams and the selection of members. Sha’Carri Richardson is the most obvious story and the injustice done to her cannot be undone, unfortunately. There are Black women around the world being taken out of the Games for natural testosterone levels, mostly athletes from the African continent, and swim caps that are made for Black hair are being barred from competition.
The Olympics and for that matter, the sport of Track & Field has a lot of reflection to do. The Olympic Games represent a coming together of all nations to compete in sport, a diverse, vast array of athletes from different corners of the world. When we start to standardize too much and start to limit athletes on racial lines and things like weed we only hurt the spirit of the Games, of sport, of competition, and unity.