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Thread: Tokyo Olympics

  1. #166
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    I'm taking the '2020' off the title of the Tokyo Olympics thread

    ...not going to replace it with '2021' yet. We'll just wait and see.

    MAY 20, 20214:13 PM UPDATED 13 HOURS AGO
    Olympics-Most Japan firms say Games should be cancelled or postponed
    By Tetsushi Kajimoto

    3 MIN READ


    TOKYO (Reuters) -Nearly 70% of Japanese firms want the Tokyo Olympics either cancelled or postponed, a Reuters survey found, underscoring concerns that the Games will increase coronavirus infections at a time when the medical system is under heavy strain.


    FILE PHOTO: The giant Olympic rings are seen behind Japan's national flag amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo
    With just nine weeks to go before the Games, states of emergency have been imposed in much of Japan until the end of the month to counter a spike in infections that has resulted in a shortage of medical staff and hospital beds in some areas.

    The country’s vaccination programme has also been particularly slow, with just 4% of the population inoculated, the lowest rate among the Group of Seven nations.

    The Corporate Survey, conducted May 6-17, showed 37% of firms were in favour of cancellation, while 32% want a postponement.

    In particular, those calling for a cancellation have increased from February when the same questions were asked in the monthly survey. Then, 29% were keen on a cancellation while 36% favoured a delay.

    “There’s no way that the Olympics can go ahead under the current circumstances,” a manager at a metals firm wrote in the survey.

    “Nothing the government does seems to be well-planned. All it appears to be doing is spreading anxiety.”

    The results of the survey are roughly in line with public opinion polls.

    Many Tokyo residents say, however, they are conflicted about holding the Games.

    “Variant strains could enter, creating a terrible situation,” said Keiko Yamamura, a 58-year old yoga instructor. “But when I think of the athletes who have worked so hard, I’d like to let them do it.”

    The government and International Olympic Committee have repeatedly said the Games will go ahead. About 70% of the 10,500 athletes due to attend have already qualified.

    If the Games, which have already been postponed by a year, were cancelled, a quarter of the firms expect big economic losses. But nearly 60% said economic losses would be limited while another 13% said they expect economic losses to be relatively small.

    The survey, conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research, canvassed some 480 large and midsize non-financial companies, of which about 230 answered questions on the Olympics. Respondents participate in the survey on condition of anonymity.

    Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
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  2. #167
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    I find it extremely bizarre that the Japanese government spent these past several months lollygagging around the issue of vaccinations. Usually, the Japanese are usually highly organized and up on things. You’d think with Japan scheduled to hold the Olympics they would have had their act together, instead of twiddling their thumbs. It’s a stupid situation that didn’t have to be this way. However, I do understand the worry many there have of new strains of the virus being brought into the country.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 05-21-2021 at 09:43 AM.

  3. #168
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    Congrats Sakura Kokumai!

    I hope you get a chance to compete.

    SAKURA KOKUMAI OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED AS FIRST U.S. KARATE OLYMPIAN
    By Todd Kortemeier | May 25, 2021, 3:36 p.m. (ET)


    Sakura Kokumai poses for a portrait during the Team USA Tokyo 2020 Olympic shoot on Nov. 22, 2019 in West Hollywood, Calif.

    Sakura Kokumai first saw her name appear alongside the word “Olympian” back in March 2020. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 were postponed, the karate Olympic qualifying system was revised and athletes had to wait until Tuesday to have their Olympic fates confirmed.

    Kokumai found herself in the same spot — among the first 40 karate athletes officially qualified for the Games. Kokumai ranks as the fourth kata athlete in the world, securing her place. She is the only one among the 40 from Team USA.

    It’s been a long wait for both Kokumai and the sport of karate, as both will be making their Olympic debuts in Tokyo. The discipline of kata that Kokumai practices is based on progressing through a series of movements. Athletes receive scores from judges on their technical execution.

    Kokumai, 28, first took up the sport at the age of 7 in her native Hawaii. Growing up, she lived in both Hawaii and Japan, where her parents are originally from. Kokumai now lives in San Diego.

    Kokumai committed to the kata discipline at the age of 16, and by 2012 won her first world championships medal. A seven-time national champion at the senior level, Kokumai has been a member of the national team since 2007. She owns six senior Pan American championships and in 2019 captured the gold medal in individual kata at the Pan American Games. She’ll hope to bring home a medal of a similar color from Tokyo.

    “Karate has been a part of my life for a long time now,” she told TeamUSA.org in September. “It may be new to the Olympics, but there are so many karate practitioners around the world, and I think that people who practice karate have a relationship with the sport that’s very personal. I’m hoping the Olympics will allow people to see what we do and why we do what we do.”


    Todd Kortemeier
    Todd Kortemeier is a sportswriter, editor and children’s book author from Minneapolis. He is a contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.
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  4. #169
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    collateral damage

    May 31, 2021
    9:28 PM PDT
    Sports
    As Japan loses training camps, Olympics buzz fades
    Tetsushi KajimotoDaniel Leussink

    4 minute read

    A visitor and the Olympic Rings monument cast shadows on the ground outside the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) headquarters near the National Stadium, the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan May 30, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

    Ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Japanese city of Kamo spent 70 million yen ($640,000) on horizontal bars, gymnastic mats and other upgrades to training facilities for 42 Russian gymnasts and coaches who now won’t be coming.

    The team scrapped plans for pre-Olympics training in Japan because of the resurgent COVID-19 pandemic, local officials said. Officials in the northwestern city of 25,000 say they regret the lost opportunity to host the team, even more than the money spent.

    The Games, now less than eight weeks away after being delayed by a year, have been upended by COVID-19. Foreign spectators will not be allowed, and more than 100 municipalities have cancelled plans to host overseas teams.

    "Local kids who could be future star gymnasts were disappointed to miss the opportunity to meet the Russian gymnasts," Kamo official Hirokazu Suzuki told Reuters.

    Although there is little Olympic buzz in host city Tokyo, which is under a state of emergency because of the pandemic, in smaller places like Kamo, which had been planning the camp since 2019, the disappointment is perhaps more palpable.

    Most of the cancellations so far have been in the 500 or so municipalities involved in the Olympics "host town" programme, in which foreign teams base their pre-Games training in Japanese facilities.

    In some cases, such as Australia's judo team, the teams pulled out over safety concerns. In others, such as a delegation from Cuba set to stay in Higashimatsuyama city north of Tokyo, the municipalities decided not to host.

    Organisers say the Games will be held safely. Several opinion polls have shown most Japanese people want the event to be cancelled or postponed again.

    The national government earmarked 13 billion yen for municipalities to host training camps while imposing coronavirus measures, officials said.

    Municipalities apart from Tokyo were expected to see a boost of about $110 billion through 2030 from the Games, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said in a March 2017 estimate.

    "Training camps will give a huge impulse to the economies of towns and cities where they are held, but that is being lost," said Katsuhiro Miyamoto, an emeritus professor of economics at Kansai University who studies the economic impact of the Olympics.

    SPORTS EXCHANGE

    Officials in Narita, east of Tokyo, were caught by surprise when the United States' track and field team informed them it had decided to pull out of planned a training camp.

    About 120 athletes and staff, including star sprinter Justin Gatlin, were set to come for the camp, said Kentaro Abe, a municipal official in charge of host town projects.

    Narita's sports relationship with the United States started in 2015, when it hosted the U.S. training camp before the world athletics championships in Beijing.

    "It doesn't mean that our efforts to promote sport exchange between Japan and the United States came to nothing," Abe told Reuters, adding that city would look to continue the relationship.

    In the central city of Toyota, home to the carmaker and Olympic sponsor Toyota Motor Corp, Canadian swimmers and coaches pulled out of pre-Olympics training scheduled to be held over about three weeks in July.

    Such cancellations could add to the pain for towns and regions that are already smarting from a drop-off in tourism.

    At her hotel in western Izumisano city, Eriko Tsujino worries she could lose about 60 bookings from Mongolian and Ugandan national teams if the athletes ditch plans to train in Japan.

    "If they were to cancel at the last minute, it would cause a huge loss," she told Reuters, saying the bookings had still not been confirmed because of the state of emergency.

    After the Russians cancelled their camp in Kamo, officials there decided at the last minute to host a much smaller Portuguese delegation of one female artistic gymnast and two accompanying staff, Suzuki said.

    But the city also sought to keep friendly relations with the Russian gymnasts, asking kids and other locals to show them support with making video messages and letters.

    ($1 = 109.8100 yen)

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  5. #170
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    Olympic condoms

    Tokyo Olympic Games 2020
    Tokyo Olympics athletes warned not to use 160,000 free condoms
    Organisers say condoms are souvenirs to take home
    Competitors must ‘avoid unnecessary forms’ of contact

    In 2016, Olympic athletes were openly encouraged to make use of free condoms in Rio - but Tokyo 2020 is warning athletes to take them home instead. Photograph: Dpa Picture Alliance/Alamy
    Justin McCurry in Tokyo
    Fri 18 Jun 2021 06.02 EDT

    The organisers of the 2020 Olympics have repeatedly vowed to put on a “safe and secure” Games during the coronavirus pandemic. But safe sex – or anything approaching intimacy for that matter – will be forbidden for athletes competing in Tokyo.

    The International Olympic Committee this week repeated demands that residents of the Olympic village must observe social distancing guidelines to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19, threatening rule-breakers with a range of penalties, including fines, disqualification or even deportation.

    Athletes, according to the public health measures outlined in the latest Olympic playbook, must “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact”.

    That has left Japanese organisers red-faced after questions were raised about the fate of 160,000 condoms that, in keeping with Olympic tradition, are due to be handed out in the village this summer.

    Hundreds of thousands of free condoms have been distributed since Seoul 1988 to encourage safe sex during the unofficial Olympic sport of bed-hopping among athletes from over 200 countries who spend weeks living in close quarters. However, if the 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes observe Covid-19 rules to the letter during their stay in Tokyo, this year’s consignment will go unused.

    The mixed messaging has baffled observers, including the celebrated Japanese mountaineer, Ken Noguchi, who said handing out prophylactics while imploring their owners to keep them under wraps was “something I just can’t comprehend”.

    Games organisers have belatedly spun the anomaly into a safe sex message. The condoms are not intended for use in the athletes’ village, they said. Instead, they are meant to be taken home and used to raise awareness of HIV and Aids.

    Four Japanese manufacturers had been banking on the Games to market their speciality – ultra-thin condoms made of polyurethane that are said to heighten the pleasure of safe sex.

    But, according to Agence France-Presse, Games requirements mean they are only permitted to distribute thicker, latex-based versions, which some have described as offering an inferior experience.

    “When I learned about the requirement, I thought, ‘Oh my god … can that be right?’” an industry source told AFP. “We had really counted on being able to offer these ultra-thin ones.”

    While the IOC has said up to 80% of prospective Olympic and Paralympic village residents will be fully vaccinated by the time the Tokyo Games open on 23 July, they will spend much of their time there a safe distance from their fellow residents.

    Organisers were originally planning to provide meals in vast dining halls, but are now encouraging athletes to eat – and sleep – alone.
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  6. #171
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    Olympic condoms

    Tokyo Olympic Games 2020
    Tokyo Olympics athletes warned not to use 160,000 free condoms
    Organisers say condoms are souvenirs to take home
    Competitors must ‘avoid unnecessary forms’ of contact

    In 2016, Olympic athletes were openly encouraged to make use of free condoms in Rio - but Tokyo 2020 is warning athletes to take them home instead. Photograph: Dpa Picture Alliance/Alamy
    Justin McCurry in Tokyo
    Fri 18 Jun 2021 06.02 EDT

    The organisers of the 2020 Olympics have repeatedly vowed to put on a “safe and secure” Games during the coronavirus pandemic. But safe sex – or anything approaching intimacy for that matter – will be forbidden for athletes competing in Tokyo.

    The International Olympic Committee this week repeated demands that residents of the Olympic village must observe social distancing guidelines to prevent an outbreak of Covid-19, threatening rule-breakers with a range of penalties, including fines, disqualification or even deportation.

    Athletes, according to the public health measures outlined in the latest Olympic playbook, must “avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact”.

    That has left Japanese organisers red-faced after questions were raised about the fate of 160,000 condoms that, in keeping with Olympic tradition, are due to be handed out in the village this summer.

    Hundreds of thousands of free condoms have been distributed since Seoul 1988 to encourage safe sex during the unofficial Olympic sport of bed-hopping among athletes from over 200 countries who spend weeks living in close quarters. However, if the 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes observe Covid-19 rules to the letter during their stay in Tokyo, this year’s consignment will go unused.

    The mixed messaging has baffled observers, including the celebrated Japanese mountaineer, Ken Noguchi, who said handing out prophylactics while imploring their owners to keep them under wraps was “something I just can’t comprehend”.

    Games organisers have belatedly spun the anomaly into a safe sex message. The condoms are not intended for use in the athletes’ village, they said. Instead, they are meant to be taken home and used to raise awareness of HIV and Aids.

    Four Japanese manufacturers had been banking on the Games to market their speciality – ultra-thin condoms made of polyurethane that are said to heighten the pleasure of safe sex.

    But, according to Agence France-Presse, Games requirements mean they are only permitted to distribute thicker, latex-based versions, which some have described as offering an inferior experience.

    “When I learned about the requirement, I thought, ‘Oh my god … can that be right?’” an industry source told AFP. “We had really counted on being able to offer these ultra-thin ones.”

    While the IOC has said up to 80% of prospective Olympic and Paralympic village residents will be fully vaccinated by the time the Tokyo Games open on 23 July, they will spend much of their time there a safe distance from their fellow residents.

    Organisers were originally planning to provide meals in vast dining halls, but are now encouraging athletes to eat – and sleep – alone.
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