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TOKYO 2020 Olympics

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  • #46
    • IOC reveals China has offered vaccines to Tokyo and Beijing Olympic athletes

    The Chinese Olympic Committee has offered vaccine doses to be used for participants at this year’s Tokyo Olympics and the Beijing Winter Games in 2022, the International Olympic Committee confirmed on Thursday.

    “The IOC has received a kind offer from the Chinese Olympic Committee, hosts of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, to make additional vaccine doses available to participants in both editions of the Games,” the IOC president, Thomas Bach, said.

    “The Chinese Olympic Committee is ready in cooperation with the IOC to make these additional doses available … either via collaboration with international partners or directly in countries where agreements regarding Chinese vaccines are in place.”

    Bach was addressing an online presentation by the new Tokyo Games chief, Seiko Hashimoto. He did not provide any details on the number of doses. More than 10,000 athletes will take part in the Olympics, with several thousands more involved as coaching staff, media, volunteers and officials.

    “The IOC will pay for the additional doses of vaccines not only for Olympic but also Paralympic teams,” Bach added. “For each of these doses the IOC will pay for two doses more which can be made available to the respective countries’ population.”

    Bach, who was re-elected for a second term as president earlier this week, also said “a significant number” of Olympic athletes have already received vaccines. “The IOC will make every effort to have as many participants arriving already vaccinated in Japan,” he said. “I can inform you that a significant number of Olympic teams have been vaccinated in line with national guidelines.”:
    • Tokyo Olympics to go ahead this summer — but without foreign spectators, national news agency says

    Japan has decided to bar foreign spectators from this summer's Tokyo Olympics, the Kyodo news agency said on Tuesday, citing government officials. The decision, which hadn't been publicly confirmed by Japanese officials, comes after weeks of mounting pressure from a public worried about visitors who could carry the coronavirus into the country, including some highly-contagious new variants.:

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    • #47
      Overseas spectators banned from Tokyo Olympics over COVID fears

      Spectators from overseas will not be permitted to attend the Summer Olymipics in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee and local organizers announced Saturday.

      Why it matters: The decision highlights "the realities of COVID-19 even as [the organizers] forged ahead with plans to hold the world’s largest sporting event," the New York Times writes.

      What they're saying: "Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries around the world is still very challenging and a number of variant strains have emerged, whilst international travel remains severely restricted globally," Tokyo organizers said.
      • "In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."
      • "This conclusion will further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public."
      • Of note: Athletes are not required to be vaccinated, but many of them likely will be, per AP.
        • The president of the IOC announced earlier this month that China had offered to provide vaccinations to Olympic and Paralympic competitors who required one ahead of the Games.

      The big picture: The Tokyo organizing committee had expected $800 million income from ticket sales. The Japanese government will have to make up for lost income, AP reports.
      • While organizers said that spectators will be refunded, this ultimately will be decided by resellers that handle sales outside of Japan. "These dealers charge fees of up to 20% above the ticket price. It is not clear if the fees will be refunded," AP writes.

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      • #48
        2nd attempt

        Tokyo Olympic torch relay kicks off

        Torch Relay Kicks Off For Troubled Tokyo Olympic Games

        Athletes holding the Olympic torch set off on a relay run Thursday morning in Japan's northeast, showing the organizers' determination to proceed with the Summer Games, despite widespread public skepticism.

        The relay is set to crisscross across Japan and arrive at the opening ceremony in Tokyo on July 23.

        The runners will deliver not only the torch, but also Tokyo's political message that Japan has recovered from a 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown, and that mankind has vanquished the COVID-19 pandemic.

        Critics say both of these claims are premature.

        Dressed in white track suits, members of Japan's 2011 women's World Cup-winning soccer team set out at a jog from a soccer training complex in Fukushima, the area hit by the 2011 triple disaster.

        They carried a torch made of aluminum, recycled from prefab housing built for the calamity's survivors.

        Each of the relay's 10,000 runners will carry the torch 200 meters — about 220 yards — on a course traversing all of Japan's 47 prefectures.:

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        • #49
          Kneeling, raised fists during national anthem allowed at U.S. Olympic Trials

          Team USA athletes will not be punished for kneeling or raising their fists during the national anthem at this summer's Olympic trials, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee said Tuesday.

          In a nine-page document, the USPOC detailed permissible "racial and social justice demonstrations," expanding athletes' chances for expression. The document comes three months after the committee said it wouldn't punish Team USA athletes for "respectfully demonstrating." In December, the USOPC requested the International Olympic Committee to end the prohibition on peaceful protests and demonstrations.

          Many athletes called for the International Olympic Committee to alter Rule 50, which previously forbid protests and demonstrations from USOPC athletes.

          The new rules apply to all future U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Trials events and are not applicable to the Olympic and Paralympic Games, or any competition or forum outside of Trials venues. Permissible demonstrations include kneeling and holding up a fist during the anthem, wearing hats or face masks with phrases such as "Black Lives Matter" or words such as "equality" or "justice."

          Hate symbols, discriminatory remarks, violent protests and behaviors that physically impeding athletes’ right to compete, such as laying on a track, are among the list of actions not allowed.

          The document states that acceptable demonstrations should involve "advancing racial and social justice; or promoting the human dignity of individuals or groups that have historically been underrepresented, minoritized, or marginalized in their respective societal context.":

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          • #50
            A preview of the 2022 Winter Olympics.

            U.S. State Department considering joint boycott of 2022 Beijing Olympics

            The State Department said Tuesday that it was considering a possible joint boycott of the 2022 Beijing Olympics, as calls have grown for the U.S. to back out of the event due to human rights violations in China.

            "It is something that we certainly wish to discuss," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said, adding that "a coordinated approach will be not only in our interests but also in the interests of our allies and partners."

            Price emphasized the importance of working closely with other countries, so that any step the U.S. takes would have more influence on Beijing. He said that the State Department is currently weighing different approaches to respond to the Chinese government, pointing to sanctions that the U.S. recently enacted with the U.K., Canada and the European Union over the human rights abuses.

            A spokesperson for the U.S. Olympic Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.:

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            • #51

              Just over one hundred days remain until the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, which are planned to be a celebration of humanity, courage and resilience. Delayed by COVID-19, Tokyo 2020 will bring together athletes from all over the world, helping to reunite a scarred world.

              The organisers have had to make major adjustments to host the Games in a way that protects everybody’s health. But some things will not change: as planned from the outset, Tokyo 2020 aims to use its reach and visibility to highlight solutions to help create a more sustainable world. A broad-based coalition of partners, including Japan’s National Olympic Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG), the Government of Japan, related local governments, sponsors and other delivery partners are united by the slogan: “Be better, together — For the planet and the people.”

              “At the heart of Olympism is the idea that sport can help us build a better world,” said the IOC's Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission Chair, John Coates. “In just over three months, the eyes of the world will be set on Tokyo 2020. While our number-one priority is to organise safe Olympic and Paralympic Games for everyone, this is also an opportunity to raise global awareness about the need to live more sustainably and show that tools and solutions to achieve this exist.”:
              • 72 percent of Japanese polled want the games canceled or postponed over slow vaccine rollout

              On Monday, a Kyodo News poll showed that the majority of those asked in Japan are in favor of postponing or canceling the games altogether. Here are the stats from a Kyodo News poll:

              "Amid lingering concern over a fourth coronavirus wave and the slow progress of vaccination, the poll found 39.2 percent believe the postponed Olympics and Paralympics should be canceled, while 32.8 percent think they should be rescheduled. Only 24.5 percent responded that the games should be held as scheduled.":

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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