Tokyo Olympics Covid Concerns


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Tokyo Olympics are facing some backlash due to safety concern

Marley Martinez, Journalist

The 2020 Tokyo Summer games were originally scheduled to begin July 24 of last year but due to the spreading of Covid-19, were postponed for a year and are set to begin July 23, 2021. The games will feature updated rules and even a few new sports. However new concerns are rising over the safety of competitors, coaches, and everyone involved in this year’s games.

According to CNN, the US State Department has issued a travel warning to Japan and advises citizens to steer clear of visiting the country as the games grow closer. The state department issued this statement after updated travel recommendations from the CDC.

The CDC states, “Travelers should avoid all travel to Japan. Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan.”

Concerns over the overall safety of the games and travelers come with recent surges in Covid cases across Japan. In contrast to the U.S. where large amounts of the population are getting vaccinated, it is estimated that only about 2% of Japan’s total population have received only the first shot of the vaccine. The reason for this shortfall of vaccinations is due to the understaffing of medical professionals as well as a shortage of syringes. 

The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee said it still anticipates that American athletes will be able to safely compete at the Tokyo Games.


There’s been mounting pressure to postpone the Games to save lives, with two major doctors’ associations warning that Japan’s healthcare system would not be able to cope with the medical needs of thousands of athletes, coaches, and press on top of the existing surge in Covid-19 cases,” explains CNN writer Eliza Mackintosh.

Demonstratorsr protesting the Tokyo Olympics

With these shortcomings in the vaccination of the Japanese population and rising Covid cases, there has been a large calling for the further postponement or even the cancellation of the 2020 Olympic games. According to New York Times, many prominent Japanese business leaders are voicing their concerns about holding the games. There have also been numerous protests with Japanese citizens sporting signs reading “Cancel the Tokyo Olympics” along with a petition among healthcare workers.

“Last week, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association, an organization of about 6,000 doctors in Tokyo, penned a letter calling for the cancellation, while a petition which garnered 350,000 signatures in nine days in support of cancellation has been submitted to organizers,” states CNN.

However, the possibility of the games actually being canceled is extremely slim. The Olympic games have only been canceled three times in their history and were all due to war. There are also numerous variables to take into account when it comes to canceling the games including sponsorships, broadcasting, insurance, preparations, stadiums, and of course what the games mean to the athletes. Canceling the games will end in disappointment for the thousands of athletes that have spent almost 5 years training for these games and many athletes may never get another chance to compete in another Olympics.