#TokyoOlympics; #COVID19pandemic; #FridayOpeningCeremony
Tokyo/Canadian-Media: After a year-long delay because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and a series of scandals and constant public grumbling, the Tokyo Olympics got underway Tuesday with the start of the soccer and softball tournaments ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.
Tokyo Olympics. Image credit: Unsplash
“We promised the world to host the Games,” Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, with a quiet determination in her voice tells the assembled media, insisting that “we have to complete our mission,” Los Angeles Times reported.
In spite of the tough questions many times reporters ask, Hashimoto remains calm, and shows no sign of wavering at news conferences held inside the modernistic, gold-sheathed Tokyo Big Sight tower.
With only about 20 percent of Japan residents vaccinated, the Games are pushing stubbornly ahead despite concerns about surging coronavirus cases in Japan.
The Tokyo Olympics leadership — and the International Olympic Committee — have a reason to remain steadfast. They have a lot riding on the next 17 days.
Billions of dollars in broadcast revenue, political fortunes and a sense of national pride are at stake., all of this will play out on a world stage beginning with the opening ceremony Friday evening.
“It’s a kind of psychological and political drama,” says Robert Baade, an economist who studies the Olympics at Lake Forest College in Illinois. “When you study all the outcomes and the dynamics of the relationship between the IOC and Japan, there is so much at play here.”