The 2020 Tokyo Olympics still happened in 2021 amid the shadow of the pandemic and the emerging Delta variant. With the addition of four new sports and disqualifications and dropouts of many Olympic athletes, this year’s Olympics had a gloomy cloud above of it that doesn’t make it worth the consequences to continue with the games.
Although more than 80% of athletes were been vaccinated and the IOC banned spectators as a precaution, there were still fears that the games would turn into a super spreader. There were more than 11,000 athletes this year plus, according to the Washington Post, “tens of thousands” of more officials, coaches, media members and support staffers in Japan. In addition, only about 38% of the entire Japanese population has been fully vaccinated. Inevitably, by July, there had already been 75 positive coronavirus cases in people associated with the Olympics.
For all these reasons, according to Reuters, cohorts of public-health experts, more than 6,000 primary care doctors, and 83% of the general Japanese population were opposed to the games happening in the first place. On the other hand, the IOC has billions of dollars tied up in broadcast deals, and Japan has already reportedly spent over $20 billion on the Olympics, and they need the games to keep going in order to keep their monetary loss at a minimum.
This year’s Olympic organizers’ priorities have been made clear; no matter the global implications, they will put money before the publics’ safety and needs.
This year, the Olympics added karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing, 3 on 3 basketball and BMX biking. While these are all great sports with incredible athletes, the fact is that many of these sports don’t draw eyeballs, and only allow more people to converge in one place to increase the spread of the pandemic.
In addition, more and more athletes have been dropping out due to their mental health and coronavirus concerns, and other notable athletes have also been disqualified due to naturally high testosterone levels and cannabis use. While rules are rules, the USA even agreed that its policy needs to be reexamined.
The IOC does not seem to have the slightest interest in helping athletes and it causes fewer people to watch the Olympics. All they focus on is the money.
All in all, I believe the 2021 Tokyo Olympics should have been canceled from the beginning, and the IOC should have put the public’s interest and health over the money at stake.