The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are officially underway. But in light of the ongoing pandemic, are they really worth it?
We already know that global sporting events can successfully take place in the midst of a pandemic. Take this year’s Formula One season for example, which has moved around the world with relative ease.
Similarly, 15,000 Britons recently attended the Men’s 2021 Wimbledon Final, and up to 60,000 attended the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium.
In each of these instances, authorities have backed the economic argument—giving fans some much-needed sports action.
Japan has put strict coronavirus measures in place to reduce exposure to Covid-19. This comes despite the nation recording over 850,000 cases, and a devastating 15,000 deaths.
However, Japan is a strong vaccination nation. Around 23 percent of residents are fully vaccinated.
The International Olympics Committee (IOC) says the Games will have “well above” 80 percent of Olympic and Paralympic village residents vaccinated. In addition, between 70 and 80 percent of the media will be vaccinated.
Spectators are banned from this year’s Olympics. All athletes and delegates must be tested before departure and on arrival.
Do people even want the Game to go ahead?
There has been strong opposition to the Olympics taking place. In fact, a local newspaper suggests 80 percent of Japanese people want the Games postponed or cancelled entirely.
Similarly, athletes have also expressed concerns over the Games. Tennis’ World Number 2, Naomi Osaka believes there should be a wider discussion about whether the Games proceed.
“If it’s putting people at risk, and if it’s making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion.”Naomi osaka
But these aren’t the first Olympics to experience controversy. In fact, there seems to be controversy surrounding most Olympics before they even begin.
Kirsten Holmes from Curtin University says the Tokyo Olympics are no different.
“In previous Games like Athens or Rio, there was a lot of negative press about whether the athlete’s village will be ready on time and the displacement of local people.
“Yet when the events themselves were held, they were very successful. They painted the host city in a positive light on the global stage.”
How much will the Tokyo Games cost?
The already-delayed Tokyo Games are expected to exceed USD $26 billion.
The IOC has a strict agreement with Japanese organisers. In fact, the IOC are the only body that are able to cancel the Games. If Tokyo cancels, they have to foot the bill.
The IOC expects to make 70 percent of its cut from broadcast rights, and an additional 18 percent from sponsorship opportunities.
But remember, the Olympics are funded by taxpayers. So, it might be worth giving the locals a thought—especially because international tourism is off the cards.
Health vs. economics
In light of the ongoing pandemic, Tokyo is currently under strict state of emergency conditions. This means there will be no bars, restaurants, or karaoke venues operating if they serve alcohol.
Tokyo residents are expected stay at home and watch the games on the couch.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also chimed in.
“The mark of success is making sure that any cases are identified, isolated, traced and cared for as quickly as possible and onward transmission is interrupted,” he says.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
But he also also says “zero cases” may not be a true indicator of success, especially given Tokyo’s increasing Covid-19 numbers.
The Olympic cluster had already grown to over 80 on Wednesday this week, with even more athletes testing positive and unable to travel.
If teammates are listed ‘close contacts’, they can continue training under strict protocols.
But are these rules and protocols designed to limit the spread of the virus? Or are they measures to ensure the Games can proceed? I’m not sure if they are mutually exclusive, and neither does the WHO Director-General.
“The pandemic is a test and the world is failing.”Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
Mr Adhanom Ghebreyesu predicts more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths before the Olympic flame goes out on 8 August.
With such strong opposition and rising case numbers, nations have a simple choice: straighten up the health response, or cash in.
Tokyo 2020 might be one of the most successful Olympics of the modern era. As organisers weigh up the costs and hope the rewards outweigh the risk.
We will just have to wait and see. Nevertheless, I suspect the Games might be a welcome relief for locked down communities, and the global sporting community.
Disney’s sport streaming goals
Disney’s ESPN may achieve a $24 billion valuation; potential suitors could involve Apple and Verizon.
In a recent financial report, Bank of America suggests that Disney’s ESPN could be on the verge of reaching a staggering $24 billion valuation. This eye-catching figure has sparked interest from potential buyers, with technology giants Apple and telecommunication leader Verizon being touted as likely contenders.
The valuation surge is attributed to ESPN’s successful digital transition, with streaming services, exclusive sports content, and expanding international markets contributing to its growth. Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s sports networks further boosted ESPN’s portfolio, making it an attractive asset for prospective buyers.
Apple, known for its foray into content creation with Apple TV+, could leverage ESPN’s sports content to expand its media empire. Meanwhile, Verizon, with its vast telecom infrastructure and distribution capabilities, could use ESPN to enhance its content offerings and engage a broader customer base.
This development marks a pivotal moment in ESPN’s history, and its future owner could redefine the landscape of sports broadcasting. As the valuation continues to climb, all eyes are on the potential suitors and the ensuing negotiations.
Paris shoe store challenges customers to outrun pro sprinter
A Parisian footwear boutique invites customers to partake in a unique and adrenaline-pumping shopping experience.
This audacious store, nestled in the heart of Paris, dared its patrons to steal a pair of shoes, all in good fun, provided they could outpace a professional sprinter.
Reports have emerged of this extraordinary stunt that combines shopping with a dash of track and field. The challenge was set by the shop as a marketing ploy, aiming to attract the adventurous and those in search of a novel retail encounter. The store employed the services of a pro sprinter, renowned for their lightning speed, who was ready to chase down any would-be ‘thieves’ on the spot.
The customers were offered a thrilling choice – take a leap of faith and try to outrun the sprinter, or purchase the shoes in the traditional manner. Those who dared to participate had their athletic skills put to the test, leaving bystanders in awe.
This daring initiative has sparked conversations around town, with opinions ranging from branding brilliance to potential risks involved. While it has generated considerable attention, many are questioning the wisdom of such an unconventional strategy.
Zeze, 29, is a French Olympian who’s current run of the 100-meter dash is under 10 seconds.
Rafael Nadal’s Australian Open comeback after injury hiatus
Tennis fans rejoice as Rafael Nadal, the renowned Spanish tennis maestro, is geared up to mark his return to the Australian Open
In 2024 after Nadal will return to the game after a year-long absence due to persistent injuries. The anticipation surrounding his comeback has been mounting, and enthusiasts are eager to witness his extraordinary skills on the court once again.
Nadal’s absence from the Australian Open in 2023 was a setback for both the tournament and his legion of fans. The ‘King of Clay’ has been nursing injuries, focusing on a rigorous rehabilitation regime to ensure he comes back stronger and more formidable than ever. His determination to overcome challenges and re-enter the tennis arena has been nothing short of inspirational.
The Australian Open holds a special place in Nadal’s illustrious career, and his return to the tournament is highly anticipated. Tennis aficionados are keen to witness whether Nadal can reclaim his former glory and compete at the highest level after his hiatus.
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