Games On

After being postponed last year due to COVID-19, the Summer Olympics will begin in July in Tokyo

The Olympic games are an international sports festival that is held every four years. The point of these games are to cultivate human beings through sports and also contribute to world peace. The summer games were supposed to start last year in 2020, but due to COVID-19  they were unfortunately delayed. 

The games will be held this summer in Tokyo, Japan. They will still be called the 2020 Olympic games to keep the tradition of the even four year track even though they are happening in 2021. The pandemic held a lot of things back including the games. At one point people didn’t understand how much of an impact the pandemic would have. In the beginning, they did plan to go on with the games until they got information that it was not safe to hold them, so the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided to delay the games. 

Since the games are definitely starting on July 23 of this summer, there have been concerns on how the games will be handled amidst the pandemic. The IOC and Tokyo organizers published a 33-page “playbook” that attempted to shed some light on the situation. In addition to the common-sense recommendations of masking up, avoiding crowds, and washing hands regularly, the heavily illustrated guide detailed what athletes and other participants would need to do before arriving in Tokyo and during their first 14 days on the ground. Travelers must have a negative test within 72 hours of departure and a negative test upon arrival. They will not be required to quarantine, but they will be prohibited from visiting restaurants, pubs, shops, tourist attractions, or taking public transportation for the first 14 days. They are not permitted to attend Olympic competitions in which they are not competing. 

The IOC is also encouraging athletes to get the vaccine if it is available to them and not at the cost of more disadvantaged members of the local community, but it is not needed for participation. 

Tokyo seems to have essential and understanding requirements and restrictions during this time to help keep participants in the games safe. This year, it’s likely that everyone will be watching the games from home, since there hasn’t been any clear word on if fans are allowed. However, there should be a decision made soon as the summer approaches quickly. 

There will be a lot more restrictions for the participants, like the Olympic village which is a social experience for athletes. Two meters (about 6.5 feet) distance is required, handshakes and hugs are not permitted, and face masks will be required. These are crucial and understandable and a part of keeping everyone safe. 

Hopefully the next games we can have the choice to attend the games and be a part of the great cultural social interaction as well, especially for the athletes.