Tokyo challenge

With the way things are going, nobody can really say if the Tokyo Olympics will still push through.

In a report by The Times of London last week, an anonymous Japanese government official admitted that they are now planning to drop their hosting due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Japanese executive said they know that holding such a mega event is going to be “very difficult” so the best thing to do is to get out of the hosting and organize the Summer Games in the next available schedule, which is 2032.

There’s a grain of truth in this shocking report.

While we are hopeful that the Olympics will still go on, we also have to understand that Japan is in a state of emergency due to its alarming number of virus cases.

In fact, the pandemic there is so serious that even public health experts are doubtful whether the strict measure would be enough to tame the virus before the Olympic fever kicks off.

Although the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was quick to issue a denial, saying that they are determined and committed to hold the Games on 23 July, the fact still remains that at this point, human lives are far more important than Olympic glory.

Personally, I think it’s very impossible for the Olympics to push through.

As we know, the Olympics, the greatest show on earth, is all about spectators. It’s about people from various parts of the world coming together to speak the same language of sportsmanship, equality, friendship and camaraderie.

But how can the organizers realize that if the Games would be played against the backdrop of a deadly pulmonary disease that has already claimed the lives of millions around the world?

How will they make the fans feel welcome if they would still be required to undergo swab testing and 14-day quarantine while observing social distancing, isolation and other health and safety protocols when they reach the Japanese capital?
What about the quality of games?

With various Olympic qualifying tourneys either being postponed or scrapped altogether, can the IOC still deliver on its promise of bringing the world’s best competitors?

Will stars like Rafael Nadal, Simon Biles, Joseph Schooling and the wildly popular United States men’s basketball team brave the deadly pandemic just to seek Olympic success?

Sure, there are already available vaccines in the market, but will the organizers and the IOC inoculate millions of delegates composed of athletes, coaches, technical officials, sports executives, fans and everybody in Tokyo just to make sure that the Summer Games will be safe?
I don’t think so.

To put it mildly, the idea of staging the Olympics in this era when the world’s primary concern is to stay healthy and alive is truly absurd.

Sure, the IOC is doing its best to hold the Olympics come hell or high water to support its narrative that humanity can prevail over this invisible enemy, but it also has to be realistic and practical while considering that an outbreak would be a massive blackeye to the entire world.

I just feel bad because this could be our opportunity to win our first-ever Olympic gold medal.

Hidilyn Diaz, although she has yet to formally secure her slot, is ripe for glory after claiming the silver in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics while EJ Obiena had proven that he could shock the best vaulters in the world in record-holder Armand Duplantis of Sweden and reigning champion Thiago Braz of Brazil.

Of course, Eumir Marcial is also capable of winning the mint while Carlos Yulo can pull off a surprise since he is competing in a very subjective sport under the tutelage of a Japanese native — Munehiro Kugimiya.

But with the Tokyo Games getting doubtful, the challenge is now on local sports officials.

They have to keep these athletes motivated to stay on top of their games while giving them realistic assessment and projection of what the future holds.
They have to fire them up without breaking their hearts.

After all, the cancellation of the Olympics is something they can’t control.

Date: January 25, 2021 | By: Julius Manicad | Newspaper: Tribune | Source: