5 key questions ahead of the Tokyo Olympics


Can you believe that in a month the Olympic flame will be officially lit to start the Tokyo Olympics?

Having a four-year gap between the Summer Olympics already seems like a long and winding road, but the COVID-19 pandemic delaying it for a full year has only added to the wait.

But we’re officially counting down to a month, and with that in mind, here’s an update on the status of some issues surrounding the Games with the Opening Ceremonies fast approaching on July 23.

Fans cannot travel from overseas and attend the events, but Japanese organizers announced Monday that venues can be filled to 50% capacity with up to 10,000 local spectators at the events.

Fans will not be allowed to applaud and will be required to wear masks, according to ESPN.

If there is a spike in COVID cases over the next month, events will unfold without spectators.

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On Sunday, the Japanese government ended the coronavirus state of emergency for Tokyo and eight other prefectures after a spike in cases that began in April, which has since declined. The vaccination rollout in Japan has lagged behind other countries, but it is starting to ramp up now.

About 7.1 million people, or 5.6% of the Japanese population, have been vaccinated, according to the BBC, while NHK announced that workplace vaccinations were due to start on Monday.

The president of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, said in March that vaccination was not compulsory for participating athletes, but he also said more than 80% of athletes and officials staying at the Olympic Village should be vaccinated.

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It will be a strict and regulated routine for the athletes once the Games have started, with daily testing and the requirement to stay in a bubble in the Olympic Village. Socialization and group meals will not be allowed, and athletes will have 48 hours to leave Japan once their event is over.

Yes. Members of the Australian Olympic softball team started arriving on June 1, while Ugandan athletes started arriving over the weekend, which generated COVID news. A member of the Ugandan team has tested positive for COVID-19 and will now need to be quarantined for two weeks.

There are still some qualifications to be done in the flagship sports. While the swimming and diving trials ended last weekend, the track and field trials are still underway and will end on Sunday. The gymnastics events will also take place this weekend, starting Thursday and ending Sunday.

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By the end of the weekend, American athletes heading to Tokyo should be ready.


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