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Final nail in possible 2021 Olympics? Advertisers begin to flee

Reuters provides the latest evidence that the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics might be in real trouble.

Japan’s Olympic sponsors are scaling back advertising campaigns and delaying marketing events for this year’s Summer Games, concerned that public sentiment toward the event is souring amid a fresh wave of COVID-19.

Shocking! IOC head tone deaf about Tokyo Olympics

The president of the International Olympic Committee has doubled down on this summer’s Tokyo Games.

Thomas Bach has reiterated the Games will take place roughly six months from now, a belief shared by the current Japanese government. These are the same Games that were postponed in 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Common sense suggests Mr. Bach needs to back down.

Coronavirus cases again are spreading throughout Japan and the political opposition already is demanding the Japanese government announce a postponement, if not outright cancellation. The public is saying the same.

Of course, no IOC poobah will approach the lunacy of Avery Brundage, who demanded that the 1972 Munich Olympics continue hours after 11 Israelis and their kidnappers were killed in a failed rescue effort. The same mantra was heard in 1996 following the Olympic Park bombing that killed one person and injured hundreds more. But Bach is approaching the pantheon of Olympic reality deniers with its insistence that some of the world’s best athletes should gather this summer in one of the world’s largest cities.

Bach’s supporters are apt to say “what else do you expect him to say?”

How about “this time the Games will not go on.”

Radical? Yes. A potential economic disaster for the city of Tokyo, the country of Japan and the IOC? Absolutely. Necessary? Certainly.

There remain significant questions about Japan’s ability to host the Games amid a global pandemic that has killed more than two million people around the world.

The best option available if the Games are to go forward is for no fans to attend any of the events. Any sports fan around the globe will tell you that watching a televised sports event with no fans in the stands is dull; the piped in crowd noise cannot replace the passionate voices that echo as fans react to what’s taking place in front of them. But even if spectators are kept away, there still will be roughly 15,000 athletes and officials invading Japan.

Keep preaching denial, Mr. Bach. But do remember that if the Games do happen this summer, you will sound like Donald Trump. That’s never good.

So, about those Olympics in 2021…

Flag of Japan, public domain image

Reuters reports that all of us who are looking forward to the rescheduled Summer Olympics next year had better not hold our breath.

In interviews with a dozen infectious diseases experts, a common theme emerged: The Olympics would increase the risk of an outbreak.

“Infection will flare up if we push ahead with the Olympics and hold them. There is no doubt about it,” said Daiichi Morii, a doctor at Osaka University Hospital’s infection control team.

“The virus is barely under control as we are putting a halt on the inflow of people from overseas,” Morii added. “With events like the Olympics, the virus will come in for sure and the number of infections will shoot up inevitably.”

Next year’s Tokyo Olympics already in doubt

Flag of Japan, public domain image

The Guardian reports the Tokyo Olympics might not be held next year.

“Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year,” JMA president Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan … it’s a worldwide issue.”

Several health experts have cast doubt on plans to hold the Games next July and August. Last week, Kentaro Iwata, a specialist in infectious diseases, said he thought it “unlikely” that the Games would be held just over a year from now.

(ICYMI) TIME magazine: Could the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Be a Victim of COVID-19?

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In a promotional video featuring Japanese tennis superstar Naomi Osaka, as well as fans of different nationalities, the organizing committee for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games revealed on Feb. 17 the event’s official motto: United by Emotion. Yet if there’s one emotion linking the world today, it might be fear. The COVID-19 outbreak…

via Could the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Be a Victim of COVID-19? — TIME