Olympics-Japan to douse Olympic flame of Video games remodeled by pandemic and drama

By David Dolan

TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reuters) – Japan will douse its greater than year-old Olympic flame on Sunday, closing out a Tokyo Video games that have been upended by the pandemic and remodeled by the drama of politics, dazzling sport and deeply private turmoil.

For the host nation, the Olympics fell wanting the worldwide triumph and monetary blockbuster it as soon as sought. Nonetheless, organisers seem to have prevented https://www.reuters.com/article/olympics-2020-coronavirus/update-2-olympics-tokyo-feared-games-would-spread-covid-numbers-suggest-that-didnt-happen-idUSL8N2PE08S the Video games from spiralling right into a COVID-19 superspreader occasion, a exceptional achievement on condition that some 50,000 individuals got here collectively amid the pandemic.

Whereas the bubble https://www.reuters.com/way of life/sports activities/tale-two-cities-bubble-tokyo-outside-2021-07-29 – the set of venues and accommodations to which Olympic guests have been largely confined – appeared to carry, elsewhere some issues fell aside. Fuelled by the Delta variant of the virus, every day infections spiked to greater than 5,000 for the primary time in Tokyo, threatening to overwhelm its hospitals.

Usually one of many world’s most electrical cities, Tokyo is beneath a state of emergency, depriving it of the manic buzz of an Olympic host or the fervent crowds of its final Olympics in 1964.

Whereas opinion polls confirmed most Japanese opposed the Video games, would-be spectators nonetheless got here out in power, defying authorities https://www.reuters.com/way of life/sports activities/crowds-japans-triathlon-fans-defy-spectator-ban-2021-07-31 and blistering warmth https://graphics.reuters.com/OLYMPICS-2020/SUMMER-HEAT/bdwvkogrzvm to peek in from overpasses as they tried to catch a glimpse of out of doors occasions such because the triathlon or new sports activities resembling skateboarding.

Their numbers seemed to be bolstered by enthusiasm over Japan’s medal haul https://www.reuters.com/way of life/sports activities/japan-projected-improve-medals-tally-by-50-gracenote-2021-07-20.

China have been on high of the tally https://graphics.reuters.com/OLYMPICS-2020/MEDALTALLY/rlgpdynkjvo with 38 golds as of late on Saturday, with america at 36 and Japan at 27. There are 13 golds up for grabs on Sunday earlier than the closing ceremony, together with within the males’s marathon.

Japan is because of hand over the Olympic baton to the subsequent host metropolis, Paris, at a ceremony that begins at 8:00 p.m. JST (1100 GMT).

After a 12 months’s delay and infrequently towards the backdrop of cavernous, almost empty venues, the Video games themselves supplied loads of excessive drama.


The drama culminated with the defection of Belarusian sprinter Krystsina Tsimanouskaya who, in a second extra paying homage to the Chilly Struggle, refused to board a flight dwelling after she was taken to the airport towards her needs.

She has since sought refugee standing in Poland.

U.S. famous person gymnast Simone Biles https://www.reuters.com/way of life/sports activities/review-olympics-gymnastics-many-twisties-turns-biles-exits-games-champion-2021-08-04 shocked the world when she pulled out of 5 of her six occasions, together with abruptly abandoning the ladies’s crew remaining after making an attempt only one vault, citing considerations for her psychological and bodily well being.

The 24-year-old spoke with candour about struggling to cope with the load of expectation positioned on her and made the world conscious of the “twisties”, a sort of psychological block that forestalls gymnasts from performing their gravity-defying abilities.

Biles in the end got here again to win the bronze on the steadiness beam within the remaining occasion of the ladies’s gymnastics programme, a second of triumph that crystallised her transformation from Olympic champion to advocate for psychological well being.

In athletics, Italy supplied a special form of shock with their wonderful run. Their victories included a surprising gold within the males’s dash relay, taking their athletics gold tally to 5.

In swimming, america have been with out 23-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Phelps for the primary time for the reason that Atlanta Video games in 1996, and whereas their gold rely slipped, they nonetheless ended the meet on high of the medal desk with 30 in whole.

However they have been pushed shut by the Australian crew who achieved their finest ever haul of 9 golds and 21 medals general, eight of their titles gained by their astonishing girls’s crew.

Because the Video games wind up, Japan will now be left to rely the fee. The invoice for the Olympics and Paralympics is anticipated to be 1.64 trillion yen https://myinfo.tokyo2020.org/general-search/facts-and-stats-tokyo-2020-olympic-and-paralympic-games ($15 billion), 22% greater than it was earlier than the Video games have been delayed in 2020, and twice as a lot because the 800 billion yen estimate Tokyo submitted in its host bid.

The invoice, which must be totally paid after the Video games finish, is most definitely to be settled by the Tokyo authorities and the central authorities. (Reporting by David Dolan; Modifying by Pritha Sarkar)


Leave a Reply