Moving forward with the 2021 Olympic Games is irresponsible

Aoife Breslin

In 2020, the Olympic Games in Tokyo were cancelled due to Covid-19, which were the first Games in the modern Olympics’ 125-year history to not happen.

This year, the Organising Committee and the International Olympic Committee are determined that the event will go ahead, despite the current coronavirus cases.

Not only are the Olympic Games set to go ahead this summer, but organisers have publicly announced that the Games will be happening with spectators.

There is a lack of public support for the event to go ahead, as Japan has reported 384,000 coronavirus cases and 5,500 deaths, they must consider if the games will cause a spike of COVID-19.

With only six months to go until the Olympics, Tokyo has gone into a state of emergency after a surge of coronavirus cases in the Japanese capital.

With the country being in a state of crisis, is it safe for the Olympic Games to be held in 2021?

No, 80 per cent of the Japanese population do not want the games to go ahead and this is just one of the factors why the world’s biggest sporting event should be cancelled.

Co-ordinators must consider how many competitors would be able to travel to Japan safely in order to take part in the games. With 11,000 athletes from 200 different countries scheduled to take part in the 2021 Olympics, how can this be achieved during a global pandemic?

These athletes dedicate their lives to partake in the Olympics, however, during this pandemic, the whole world has had to make life-changing sacrifices. It may seem unfair to cancel this year’s games after a lifetime of training, but who has the pandemic been fair on?

The cancellation of the Olympics is set to take a huge economic hit on the National Olympic Committees and sports federations who purely rely on the money the games generate for funding.

If the Games are to be held behind closed doors, Tokyo could suffer a loss of up to 2.4 trillion yen.

However, with 2 million lives lost due to COVID-19, the Olympic Games organisers must realise it is not responsible for the Games to go ahead and must accept that they may suffer a financial loss.

The COVID-19 vaccination may be looked to as a potential way of saving the 2021 Olympics, but as of now, being vaccinated is not a requirement to take part in the Games. Therefore, with the vaccine only being a recommendation to athletes, there is no way of ensuring safety if the Games go ahead.

With the Olympics set to begin on July 23rd, the organisers must ask themselves if the Games cause an outbreak of COVID-19 in Japan, will hospitals be able to accommodate their own people and those who have travelled to Tokyo to attend the Games?

As of now, it seems irresponsible for the Olympic Games to go ahead in 2021, however, with the Olympic Rings placed over Tokyo Bay and the countdown clock reset, the organisers seem adamant that the Games will go ahead.

Aoife Breslin

Image Credit: Olympic.org