International fans not allowed at Summer Games
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games is the first Olympic Games to not have international fans in the audience.
With three months to go until the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo begin, all of Japan can finally celebrate their heritage and welcome the rest of the world in a celebration of sport. While the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games could have still happened on schedule last year, the surge of cases during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic led to the games being delayed until this year.
When the number of cases went down and gave hope that the pandemic would end before the games began, several more waves of the pandemic and states of emergencies impacted their permittance of international fans to the event. The discussions on this decision began in December 2020 just before another state of emergency happened in Japan and also during a rise of variant COVID-19 cases.
For three months, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the Japanese government discussed the next steps for the games; about 33 percent of the population said that the games should be cancelled according to a poll by NHK News. They reached this conclusion while considering the fact that many countries still have travel restrictions; it is not seen as practical to hold the games with international spectators. On March 20, they presented their findings to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and IOC President Thomas Bach and it was made official.
Residents in Japan will still be able to go to events with safety precautions in place while international fans will have their ticket packages refunded. The positive thing about this is that it will allow more people to experience events in person and residents in areas surrounding Tokyo can get to the city and back home via the train. The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games is the first Olympic Games to not have international fans in the audience. It is very likely that all the coverage of the games will be filmed at home which in this case would be filmed at CBC Studios in Toronto but might have reporters on location in cases someone gets a medal.
When organizing committee President Seiko Hashimoto was commenting on the news, she described it as athletes giving “their utmost and inspire the world with transcendent performances.” Athletes, staff, and visitors must follow guidelines that were made by the organizing committee during their stay in the city to prevent an outbreak from happening in the city. During the Tokyo 2020 Torch Relay which is currently underway, spectators should not form crowds along the relay route though there were kind of large crowds but still doing social distancing.
The Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are not going to be like every other Olympic Games, but the excitement of the Olympic spirit will still be seen at home.