Have your say: Should the Olympics go ahead this summer?

Andy Wells
·Freelance Writer
·2 min read

With 100 days to go to the Tokyo Olympics, there is some opposition to the games going ahead this summer while the pandemic continues.

Originally scheduled for last July, the coronavirus pandemic forced the Tokyo Olympics to be put back 12 months.

Parts of Japan have seen rising COVID infections, while just over one million people in the country, or less than 1% of the population, have received the first of two vaccine doses.

Current advice from the Japanese government would see some 90,000 people attending the Games, as well as 15,000 athletes.

Watch: What are the key issues facing Tokyo Olympics?

Despite a ban on foreign spectators, a number of leading medical experts and researchers still believe it would be wrong to entertain athletes from across the globe in the Japanese capital.

An editorial in this week’s British Medical Journal (BMJ) by Kazuki Shimizu, Devi Sridhar, Kiyosu Taniguchi and Kenji Shibuya questioned the decision to press ahead with plans to host the 2020 Games later this year.

The group wrote: “The whole global community recognises the need to contain the pandemic and save lives.

“Holding Tokyo 2020 for domestic, political and economic purposes – ignoring scientific and moral imperatives – is contradictory to Japan’s commitment to global health and human security.

“We must reconsider this summer’s games and instead collaborate internationally to agree a set of global and domestic conditions under which international multi-sport events can be held in the years ahead.

“These conditions must embody both Olympic and Paralympic values and adhere to international principles of public health.”

Questions were raised over the prospect of international officials, broadcasters, press and marketing partners coming to Toyko which “risks importing and spreading COVID variants of concern” on top of athletes from across the globe visiting Japan.

FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2021, file photo, a demonstrator holds a sign protesting the planned Tokyo 2020 Olympic games near a building where Yoshiro Mori was meeting to announce his resignation as the president of the Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee in Tokyo. Mori stepped down two months ago after making derogatory comments about women. (AP Photo/Hiro Komae, File)
A demonstrator holds a sign protesting the planned 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo. (AP)

Talk of Olympians and Paralympians being given the vaccine has been mooted but it is not seen as an adequate solution according to the BMJ, who have asked the International Olympic Committee for full transparency.

However, British Olympic Association chair Sir Hugh Robertson told Sky News he believed it was more a matter of how the Games happen, rather than if.

He said: ”I'm very confident it will go ahead.

"I think the fact they have decided on no foreign spectators, now makes it more likely it will happen.

“They're taking the measures necessary in order to enable the Olympics to go ahead safely in July."

Read more: What are the key issues facing Tokyo Olympics?

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