They are the Olympic Games that many people thought wouldn’t – or shouldn’t – happen.
However, after a turbulent journey, the Tokyo Games are finally here.
After being put on hold by a pandemic, the most unique Olympic Games in history will officially begin today. Final preparations are taking place, ahead of the opening ceremony.
Shrouded in uncertainty, and marred by controversy and a cost blowout, the lead up to the games has also seen calls for them to be cancelled or delayed again.
“We had doubts every day. We deliberated. We discussed. There were sleepless nights,” according to IOC President Thomas Bach.
However, he claims says cancellation was never an option.
But what about the host nation – where most people are opposed to the Games going ahead?
“Japan had an enormous positive output to olympics but that shifted after pandemic started,” Barbara Holthus, the editor of Japan Through the Lens of the Tokyo Olympics, tells Ticker News.
Still, organisers have repeatedly resisted calls to pull the pin.
Simon Denyer is The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Tokyo. He says there’s “indifference and in some cases outright hostility to these games happening here”.
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has promised to deliver a “safe and secure” event.
Do Japanese people actually believe that will happen?
Well, according to a recent poll, two-thirds of the population do not.
Some health experts have even expressed concerns that the Olympics could become a COVID-19 super-spreader event.
Sports economist Simon Chadwick wants organisers to embrace simple and clear messaging.
“Whether they like it or not, the organisers have got to strip this right back to some basic essentials and they need to make sure this is about safety, security, trust and respect”, he told Ticker News.
Just a month ago it was decided up to 10,000 fans would be allowed into venues.
That decision was reversed – with all spectators banned.
“There’s fences around venues, streets are closed off, it’s really separated from the population. There isn’t any sense of excitement I can discern in the city about the olympics,” according to Simon Chadwick.
The jam-packed Games will feature 339 medal events across 42 venues with more than 11,000 athletes expected to compete.
Former Olympic swimming champion Grant Hackett hopes once the sports spectacle begins, the magic of the Games will return.
“A lot of people are inspired about what a human being can do and hopefully that inspiration, gives inspiration back to community across the world,” he told Ticker News.
Tom Brady to start sportscasting in 2024
Tom Brady plans to start his sportscasting duties on Fox in 2024
Brady’s arrival behind the microphone had been uncertain, especially in the wake of him retiring last year, before changing his mind.
The 45-year-old will be a part of the biggest matches for Fox, as well as act as an ambassador for the Network.
Brady made the announcement to retire from the NFL for the second time last week.
Formula 1 speeds into New York
Formula One world champions Red Bull took their season launch to the United States with a spray of pyrotechnics in front of a rapt Manhattan crowd as fans braved the bitter cold outside.
Where once NASCAR and IndyCar had a stranglehold on American gearheads, the splash hit Netflix docu-drama “Drive to Survive” has indoctrinated legions of new fans in the United States.
Neither icy cold nor eye-watering winds whipping along the Hudson River could deter the dozens of people who showed up outside the Classic Car Club on Friday, hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite drivers heading for the launch.
“I’ve been following it for a while and around 2017, 2016 it wasn’t that big in the United States,” said Tyler Quinn, 21, a college student in Manhattan, who last year saved up to see the Formula One race in Canada and feared the growing fan base could make future trips prohibitively expensive.
“It’s exploded exponentially. You know, when I talk to people in school … they all know about F1, they all recognise certain things, they all ask me questions. It’s growing fast and I really am glad about that.”
Las Vegas will join Austin and Miami as the third race in the United States in the 2023 calendar as F1 looks to make further inroads into the lucrative market.
Speaking at the members-only Classic Car Club, where a garage of luxury cars is available for patrons to enjoy, Red Bull Racing Team Principal Christian Horner told Reuters that “Drive to Survive” had been a “game changer”.
Tom Brady announces retirement – again
NFL Quarterback Tom Brady has announced he will be retiring again
Taking to Instagram to reveal his decision, the 45-year-old only needed a moment to get his message across.
Brady is regarded as the most successful quarterback in NFL history, winning seven Super Bowls for the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The 45-year-old briefly announced he would retire last February, but was lured back for one more season.
But now, he says, enough is enough.
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