Tokyo Olympics 2021: All Sports, Venues, Event Scheduling, Costs & insurance, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

Summer Olympic 2021 will hold in Tokyo Japan from 23 July to 8 August 2021.

The 2020 Summer Olympics, officially the Games of the XXXII Olympiad and also known as Tokyo 2020, is an upcoming international multi-sport event scheduled to be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. Originally scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020, the event was postponed in March 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will not allow international spectators. Despite being rescheduled for 2021, the event retains the Tokyo 2020 name for marketing and branding purposes. This is the first time that the Olympic Games have been postponed and rescheduled, rather than cancelled. The Summer Paralympics will be held between 24 August and 5 September 2021 after the Olympics.

Tokyo was selected as the host city during the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 7 September 2013. The 2020 Games will mark the second time that Japan has hosted the Summer Olympic Games, the first being also in Tokyo in 1964, making this the first city in Asia to host the Summer Games twice. Overall, these will be the fourth Olympic Games to be held in Japan, which also hosted the Winter Olympics in 1972 (Sapporo) and 1998 (Nagano). Tokyo was also scheduled to host the 1940 Summer Olympics but pulled out in 1938. The 2020 Games will be the second of three consecutive Olympics to be held in East Asia, the first being in Pyeongchang County, South Korea in 2018, and the next in Beijing, China in 2022.

The 2020 Games will see the introduction of new competitions including 3x3 basketball, freestyle BMX, and madison cycling, as well as further mixed events. Under new IOC policies, which allow the host organizing committee to add new sports to the Olympic program to augment the permanent core events, these Games will see karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding make their Olympic debuts, as well as the return of baseball and softball for the first time since 2008.

Sports in Tokly Olympics 2021:
Artistic swimming
Water polo
3x3 basketball
BMX freestyle Cycling
BMX racing Cycling
Mountain biking Cycling
Road Cycling
Track Cycling
Field hockey
Modern pentathlon
Rugby sevens
Sport climbing
Table tennis
Beach volleyball
Freestyle Wrestling
Greco-Roman Wrestling

Venues and infrastructure in Tokly Olympics 2021:

In February 2012, it was announced that former Tokyo's National Stadium, the central venue for the 1964 Summer Olympics, would undergo a ¥100 billion renovation for the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Summer Olympics. In November 2012, the Japan Sport Council announced it was taking bids for proposed stadium designs. Of the 46 finalists, Zaha Hadid Architects was awarded the project, which would replace the old stadium with a new 80,000-seat stadium. There was criticism of the Zaha Hadid design—which was compared to a bicycle helmet and regarded as clashing with the surrounding Meiji Shrine—and widespread disapproval of the costs, even with attempts to revise and "optimize" the design.

In June 2015, the government announced it was planning to reduce the new stadium's permanent capacity to 65,000 in its athletics configuration (although with the option to add up to 15,000 temporary seats for football) as a further cost-saving measure. The original plans to build a retractable roof were also scrapped. As a result of public opposition to the increasing costs of the stadium, which reached ¥252 billion, the government ultimately chose to reject Zaha Hadid's design entirely and selected a new design by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. Inspired by traditional temples and with a lower profile, Kuma's design has a budget of ¥149 billion. Changes in plans prevented the new stadium from being completed in time for the 2019 Rugby World Cup as originally intended. National Stadium was inaugurated on 21 December 2019 and will be named Olympic Stadium during 2020 Olympic Games.

In October 2018, the Board of Audit issued a report stating that the total cost of the venues could exceed US$25 billion.

Of the 33 competition venues in Tokyo, 28 are within 8 kilometers (5 miles) of the Olympic Village, with eleven new venues to be constructed. On 16 October 2019, the IOC announced that there were plans to re-locate the marathon and racewalking events to Sapporo for heat concerns. The plans were made official on 1 November 2019 after Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike accepted the IOC's decision, despite her belief that the events should have remained in Tokyo.

Event Scheduling in Tokly Olympics 2021:
Per the historical precedent of swimming at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and figure skating at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, swimming finals are scheduled to be held in the morning to allow live primetime broadcasts in the Americas. NBC paid substantial fees for rights to the Olympics, so the IOC has allowed NBC to influence event scheduling to maximize U.S. television ratings when possible. On 7 May 2014, NBC agreed to a US$7.75 billion contract extension to air the Olympics through the 2032 games, which is one of the IOC's major sources of revenue. Japanese broadcasters were said to have criticized the decision, as swimming is one of the most popular Olympic events in the country.

Event Scheduling in Tokly Olympics 2021:

According to an estimate conducted by professor emeritus Katsuhiro Miyamoto of Kansai University and reported by the NHK, the cost of delaying the 2020 Olympics by one year will be 640.8 billion yen (US$5.8 billion), taking maintenance expenditures for the unused facilities into account. A complete cancellation would cost Japan ¥4.52 trillion (US$41.5 billion), based on operating expenses and loss of tourism activity.

The Tokyo Games are protected through the commercial insurance marketplace Lloyd's of London, by global reinsurers Munich Re and Swiss Re. The IOC takes out around $800 million of insurance for each Summer Olympics, with the total amount of loss insured for the 2020 Games likely to be more than $2 billion. The disruption caused by postponing the Games is covered by the insurance policy; those likely to make claims for their financial losses include local organizers, sponsors, hospitality firms, and travel providers. The total loss amount will not become clear until the Games have actually taken place.

Holders of tickets purchased from overseas prior to postponement will be entitled to refunds for both Olympic and Paralympic ticket purchases except for costs for cancelled hotel bookings. Although about 600,000 Olympic tickets and 300,000 Paralympic tickets will need to be refunded, organizers said that they would not release the costs for refunds.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Tokyo Olympic 2020:

In January 2020, concerns were raised about the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on athletes and visitors to the Olympic Games. Tokyo organizers insisted they were monitoring the spread of the disease to minimize its effects on preparations for the Olympics. The IOC states that in 2020, their Japanese partners and the prime minister Abe Shinzo "made it very clear that Japan could not manage a postponement beyond next summer at the latest". Unlike the case for Zika virus during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted directly between humans, posing tougher challenges for the organizers to counteract the infectious disease and host a safe and secure event. Also unlike the case for H1N1 "swine flu" during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, COVID-19 has a higher fatality rate, and there was no effective vaccine until December 2020. In a February 2020 interview with City A.M., Conservative London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey argued that London would be able to host the Olympic Games at the former 2012 Olympic venues should the Games need to be moved because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike criticized Bailey's comment as inappropriate. In early 2021, officials in the U.S. state of Florida offered to host the delayed games in their state, while John Coates the vice president of the International Olympic Committee in charge of the Tokyo Olympics, said the Games would open even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency because of COVID-19.

Estimates by the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and Kyoto University note that states of emergency may be required during the Games. The reports published at the Ministry of Health experts' panel also showed new patients increasing to 10,000 if the games were to allow spectators.

Qualifying event cancellation and postponement:
Concerns about the pandemic began to affect qualifying events in early 2020. Some that were due to take place in February were moved to alternative locations to address concerns about travelling to the affected areas, particularly China. For example, the women's basketball qualification was played in Belgrade, Serbia, instead of Foshan, China.[20] The boxing qualification tournament was originally planned to be held in Wuhan, China, the location of the original outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, from 3 to 14 February, but instead took place in Amman, Jordan, at the beginning of March. The third round of the women's football qualification tournament was also affected, as the group matches formerly scheduled to be held in China were moved to Australia. The European boxing qualification was held in London, United Kingdom, before it was suspended and is set to resume in June 2021 and has moved to Paris, France, affecting travel to the United Kingdom for its completion. Remaining qualifying events that were due to take place in March to June 2020 began to be postponed until later in the year and middle of 2021 as part of a wider suspension of international sporting competitions in response to the pandemic. A multitude of Olympic sports were affected, including archery, baseball, cycling, handball, judo, rowing, sailing, volleyball, and water polo.

Effect on doping tests:
Mandatory doping tests were being severely restricted by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. European anti-doping organizations raised concerns that blood and urine tests could not be performed and that mobilizing the staff necessary to do so before the end of the pandemic would be a health risk. Despite the need for extensive testing to take place in advance of the Games, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) stated that public health and safety was their topmost priority. The Chinese anti-doping agency temporarily ceased testing on 3 February 2020, with a planned resumption of phased testing towards the end of the month, and the anti-doping organizations in the United States, France, Great Britain, and Germany had reduced their testing activities by the end of March.

Postponement to 2021:

The Tokyo Organizing Committee (TOCOG) released a statement on 2 March 2020, confirming that preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics were "continuing as planned". The following day, a spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stated that the Games would proceed according to schedule. On 18 March, the IOC repeated its opposition to a delay or cancellation. On 23 March, both Canada and Australia indicated that they would withdraw from the Games if they were not postponed by a year. On the same day, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe stated he would support a proposed postponement, citing that ensuring athlete safety was "paramount". That same day, veteran IOC member and former vice president Dick Pound told USA Today that he expected the Games to be postponed.

The IOC and TOCOG released a joint statement on 24 March 2020, announcing that the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics would be rescheduled to a date "beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021". They stated that the Games could "stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times", and that the Olympic flame could become "the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present". Prime Minister Abe stated that IOC president Thomas Bach responded "with 100% agreement" to his proposal to delay the Games. For continuity and marketing purposes, it was agreed that the Games would still be branded as Tokyo 2020 despite the change in scheduling. Although several Olympics were cancelled by world wars, including the 1940 Summer Olympics (which were formerly awarded to Tokyo), this marks the first Olympics to be postponed to a later date instead of being cancelled altogether.

On 30 March 2020, the IOC and TOCOG announced that they had reached an agreement on the new dates for the 2020 Summer Olympics, which would begin with the opening ceremony on 23 July 2021 and end with the closing ceremony on 8 August 2021. The subsequent Winter Olympics in Beijing are scheduled to begin on 4 February 2022, less than six months later. Shortly before the postponement was confirmed, the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizers formed a task force named "Here We Go" with the remit to address any issues arising from postponing the Games, such as sponsorship and accommodation. The organizers confirmed that all athletes who had already qualified for Tokyo 2020 would keep their qualification slots.

A Tokyo University simulation showed that if the games were to be held after the states of emergency orders lifted in mid-June, a new wave of infections would peak in mid-October.

Calls for cancellation:

Health experts expressed concern in April 2020 that the Games might have to be cancelled if the pandemic should persist. In an interview with Japanese sports daily Nikkan Sports, former Organizing Committee president and Japanese prime minister Yoshirō Mori asserted that the Games would be "scrapped" if they could not go ahead in 2021. On 29 April, Prime Minister Abe stated that the Games "must be held in a way that shows the world has won its battle against the coronavirus pandemic". Thomas Bach acknowledged in an interview with NBC Sports on 20 May 2020, that the job of reorganizing the Tokyo Games was "a mammoth task" and also admitted that the event would have to be cancelled altogether if it could not take place in the summer of 2021. However, both Bach and Mori expressed optimism about the Games going ahead. Indian Olympic Association president Narinder Batra and World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom also remained optimistic about the event being able to take place in 2021.

A member of the Japanese COVID-19 Advisory Committee on the basic action policy co-authored the British Medical Journal's editorial, which states "holding Tokyo 2020 for domestic political and economic purposes— ignoring scientific and moral imperatives—is contradictory to Japan’s commitment to global health and human security."

On 21 January 2021, multiple sources reported that the Japanese government had "privately concluded" that the Games would have to be cancelled. The government dismissed the claims, stating that the reports were "categorically untrue". The new Japanese prime minister Yoshihide Suga confirmed on 19 February that the G7—which also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US—had given "unanimous" support for the postponed Games to go ahead as scheduled. "President Biden supports Prime Minister Suga's efforts," the White House stated. It was reported in April 2021, just three months before the start of the Games, that there was still the option to cancel the Tokyo Olympics with the country having vaccinated less than 1% of its population, with tens of thousands of volunteers expected to take part and athletes not being required to quarantine after arriving in Japan. Prime Minister Suga dismissed these reports in an April 2021 press conference with President Biden, who continues to support Suga's determination to hold the Games. "We respected the decision to delay the games last summer" and "the President proudly supports U.S. athletes," the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.

Public support for the Games in Japan has seen significant decreases amid a 2021 surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. Multiple organizations of medical professionals have voiced oppositions to the Games, while an opinion poll in April 2021 saw 40% of participants support the cancellation of the Games, and 33% support a second postponement. In May 2021, 83% of those polled supported the cancellation or postponement of the Games. The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association is calling for the cancellation, stating that hospitals in Tokyo "have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity" in an open letter to the prime minister. At least nine out of 47 elected governors supported the cancellation of the Games. Nearly 37% of Japanese companies surveyed supported the cancellation of the Games, and 32% supported postponement. A 7 June poll shows 55% for cancellation or postponing, 41% who favor limited or non audience games, and 3% for games without distancing restrictions.

Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani said that it would be a "suicide mission" for the country to host the Olympic Games in 2021. Kenji Utsunomiya, who had previously run for Governor of Tokyo, collected over 351,000 signatures on a petition calling for the organisers to "prioritise life" over the Olympics. Softbank's CEO Masayoshi Son opposes the games, stating, "more than 80% of the people want to postpone or call off the Olympics. Who is going to push for it, with what rights?" Japanese writers Jiro Akagawa and Fuminori Nakamura also called for the Games to be postponed or cancelled.

On 26 May, the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which is a local sponsor of the Games, published an editorial calling for Prime Minister Suga to "calmly and objectively assess the situation and decide on the cancellation of the event this summer." The Financial Times reported on 4 June that Japanese sponsors have proposed to the organizers for "the Games to be postponed for several months," citing a comment by a corporate sponsor senior executive: "It just makes much, much more sense from our perspective to hold the Games when there are more vaccinated people, the weather is cooler and maybe public opposition is lower."

Biosecurity protocols:

In February 2021, the IOC began releasing "playbooks" containing details on planned COVID-19 biosecurity protocols for athletes, officials, the press, and other staff, including standard protocols such as practicing social distancing, hygiene, the wearing of face masks (outside of training and competition for athletes), and being restricted from visiting bars, restaurants, shops, and other tourist areas, or using public transport unless otherwise permitted. Participants will be asked to use Japan's COCOA Exposure Notification app and will be tested at least every four days. Athletes who test positive will be unable to compete and may be quarantined at a government facility (although leeway will be given in the event of false positives). Close contacts must also test negative in order to be cleared for competition. As the actions could spread infected droplets, athletes will be discouraged from "excessive" celebrations. The playbooks were criticized in a paper published by the New England Journal of Medicine in May 2021, for lacking "scientifically rigorous risk assessment" and failing to "distinguish the various levels of risk faced by athletes".

The IOC is recommending the vaccination of athletes if they are available, but vaccines will not be required, and the IOC is recommending against athletes "jumping the queue" in order to obtain priority over essential populations. On 12 March 2021, Thomas Bach announced that in nations where they are approved for use, the Chinese Olympic Committee had offered to cover the costs of the Chinese CoronaVac and Sinopharm vaccines for athletes competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics and 2022 Winter Olympics, and purchase two doses for their nation's general public for each vaccinated athlete. On 6 May 2021, Pfizer announced that it would donate doses of its vaccine to NOCs competing in Tokyo.

Approximately 93,000 athletes and officials are exempt from the quarantine rules upon arriving to Japan, provided that they remain in areas separated from the local population. With around 300,000 local staff and volunteers entering and exiting these bubbles, and 20,000 vaccines doses allocated for this group, it has led to concerns of COVID-19 spreading both during the games and when teams return to their countries.

Due to international travel restrictions, the organising committee announced that no international guests (including spectators) will be allowed to attend the Games. As per existing guidance for spectator sports in Japan, spectators will be asked to refrain from cheering or shouting. On 19 June 2021, Governor of Tokyo Yuriko Koike announced that plans for public viewing events for the Games had been scrapped, in order to use the planned venues (such as Yoyogi Park) as mass vaccination sites instead. On 21 June, it was announced that all venues will be capped at a maximum of 10,000 spectators or 50% capacity, whichever is higher. However, on 2 July 2021, Seiko Hashimoto said that due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the country, there could be a reversal of the previous decision and host the Games without public, with Tokyo Governor Koike saying it is her preference. A ban of public during the opening ceremony was also discussed.

Tokyo Olympics 2021: All Sports, Venues, Event Scheduling, Costs & insurance, Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. - Published by The Beyond News (Breaking News).