2021 Tokyo Olympics vs. COVID-19

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Yes I agree, it will be different but the risk of thousands of people travelling, on top of the travelling of the athletes and support staff, will be a too high risk…
The impression I get at the moment is that the organisers fully intend for the Games to go ahead in some capacity, and that they’ll happen if there aren’t any significant turns for the worse. Not necessarily with a full complement of countries or even events, but something.

Relatedly, it’s looking like at least some of the countries who do have a vaccine supply but whose athletes won’t necessarily have been done as part of the general population by then will specifically prioritise their Olympians. Hungary have started doing that, there’s a Canadian politician suggested it too. The faster countries will probably have got their adult populations done by then anyway:
I have hope, but yes, I see it uphill. Well, with the COVID-19 vaccines, I hope we can cancel COVID-19 instead of the Olympics. Pump out more vaccines so we can give corona virus the boot !

José M.
I agree with you. However, I still have hope. I hope the vaccines will kick out this virus.

José M.
Honestly I just cannot see it happening safely. Canada is a first world country, and we do not expect to have our population vaccinated until September/October. There is just no way that is can be justified to rush vaccinate athletes, coaches and support staff in order to compete.

Let alone the lack of medical facilities and practitioners available in Japan. Moreover, quarantine will still be needed, even with vaccine’s. So two weeks in a hotel room before a huge competition? Look at the tennis situation is AUS this last month as an example.

Our own Elite Canada competition is being held this week, virtually. Videos are being submitted to judges at certain time slots. Gymnastics gyms are pretty much closed to anyone but elites, and nobody is travelling for competitions of any kind.

I honestly cannot see covid being well enough contained to be shipping the worlds elite sports people around the world to compete. Let alone the loss of the side benefits of the Olympics.
I was interested to see a Canadian politician advocating for Olympic athletes being given early vaccination a few weeks ago. It does seem like this is going to be an issue that raises its head in a number of countries, since for better or worse it would appear that it’s intended for the Games to go ahead in some capacity. And there are likely to be a number of countries with fully vaccinated delegations, either because they’ve done all the adult or at least vulnerable adult population by then anyway or because they make a point of prioritising athletes. We already know about Hungary. I’d be very surprised not to see countries like China, Belarus, North Korea and Russia go down that road too. So I think we can expect the issue to be the subject of significant controversy in countries like Canada, the US and France.
I hate to say this but I agree with you. It is still way too early in this pandemic to be making big plans for summer 2021 and risking our athletes’ safety. There are just too many unknowns. Even if we could get everyone vaccinated by the summer we have no real idea how effective these vaccines will be especially against new strains – some of which may not have popped up yet. And I am not sure what can be said to justify giving young, healthy athletes any kind of priority. This is primarily about health and safety and getting our economy back on track. Not on restoring the Olympics. So again, as much as I hate to say it Olympics should not proceed this summer.
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I would definitely be for postponing the game until 2022… but not cancelling them. In my mind… things are looking positive for 2022.

Anyways… no one posted this yet… so here is the Tokyo 2021 playbook…

The-Playbook-International-Federations.pdf (2.3 MB)

I have to say that it has some things that seem like they could be hard to do…

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 2.23.49 PM


  • The-Playbook-International-Federations.pdf
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I know they should delay but I keep hoping the situation will drastically improve with vaccinations. I’m so afraid some great athletes will miss out one way or another.
They probably should, I just don’t think they’re going to unless things take a turn for the worse. Agree it’s likely that there will be a significant number of great athletes missing out, and this would be the case even if every country that has access to a vaccine supply chooses to prioritise the Olympic delegation.
There is no way the Olympics are going to be cancelled. There’s too much to lose. The athletes will probably be forced to wear hazmat suits in the Olympic village as a safety measure and everything will be fine.

I think holding the Olympics in September would be a good idea. But NBC has Thomas Bach by the balls so Olympics in September will not happen under any circumstances.
Up till last December I honestly thought the Games had a chance because of the vaccines and the success of the NHL bubble but after the variants started showing up…

Now I just want them to get the announcement over with.

My heart breaks for the athletes though. If they happen I’ll be grateful for their sake. But I’m believing they’ll be cancelled unless we hear otherwise closer to.
Sydney was September/October because their winter is June-August. But the precedent isn’t the problem, it’s that Tokyo has spent billions to host and additional billions to postpone, and to delay by 2 months has no obvious benefit. Vaccine rollout could remain slow, there’s always a risk of new variants, and at least the summer months allow for more to be done outdoors. Add to that, NBC won’t have anything conflicting with the NFL.

I still think it’s vastly underestimated how much the summer Games are a $$$ juggernaut for the IOC and broadcasters around the globe, that to cancel would be a monumental decision. Not saying it can’t happen, given how unpredictable the pandemic is, but if it does it’s going to be at the last minute with all contingencies exhausted. I can’t see the Olympics being called off any other way; the event is too big.
They got away with it in 2000. Was that a different president?
I’m not sure what the rules are for Olympics in the southern hemisphere. But the IOC no longer permits September Olympics in the northern hemisphere because it would compete with American professional sports leagues for ratings. Holding the Olympics in September 2020 would have been good for athlete safety. But Tokyo couldn’t do that and instead pursued measures like holding the marathons in Sapporo.

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