Tokyo Olympics 2020 Latest Updates: As 'Games like no other' appear on horizon, a daily look at noteworthy developments

With 52 days remaining for the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony, there are as many questions as there are answers about how the Games will go on. Follow this live blog for a day-to-day breakdown of the most critical updates about Tokyo 2020:

FP Sports July 06, 2021 12:05:07 IST
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Tokyo Olympics 2020 Latest Updates: As 'Games like no other' appear on horizon, a daily look at noteworthy developments

Highlights

01:35 (ist)

What can athletes expect the new normal to be at the Olympics and Paralympics?

No socialising, no handshakes and definitely no hugs — that's what athletes at the coronavirus -postponed Tokyo Olympics can expect this summer, according to a virus rulebook released on Tuesday by organisers.

The 33-page document — the last in a series of "playbooks" drawn up in a bid to ensure the Games can go ahead safely — also warns athletes they could be kicked out of their events if they break strict anti-virus rules, as per a report by Agence France-Presse.

Under the guidelines, athletes will be tested for the virus at least once every four days, and will be barred from competing if they return a confirmed positive test.

Their time in Japan will be "minimised to reduce the risk of infection," and those staying at the Olympic Village will be expected to "avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact."

READ MORE: Tokyo Olympics 2020: No hugs or high-fives, organisers tell athletes in playbook

LIVE NEWS and UPDATES

July 06, 2021 - 12:01 (IST)

With Olympic Games fast approaching, COVID-19 cases on the rise in Tokyo

The Olympic Games begin on 23 July, with organisers determined they will go on, even with a reduced number of spectators or possibly none at all. While Japan have made remarkable progress to vaccinate its population against COVID-19, the drive is losing steam because of supply shortages.

With tens of thousands of visitors coming to a country that is only 13.8 percent fully vaccinated, gaps in border controls have emerged, highlighted by the discovery of infections among the newly arrived team from Uganda, with positive tests for the highly contagious delta variant.

As cases grow in Tokyo, so have fears that the Games will spread the virus.

Click here to read more on the story 

June 01, 2021 - 09:21 (IST)

Australia's softball team becomes first to arrive in Japan for Games

Australia's softball team on Tuesday became the first athletes to land in Japan for the Olympics, in a major milestone for the pandemic-postponed Games, which continue to face controversy.

The "Aussie Spirit" squad touched down in Narita airport outside Tokyo along with their support staff and were immediately ushered off for coronavirus testing.

Sporting facemasks and wearing their green and gold uniforms, they were met by greeters sporting hats decorated with Olympic and Paralympic mascots. They waved to cameras and snapped selfies as they filled out paperwork before testing.

Everyone in the delegation have been vaccinated but they still faced testing before departure and on arrival, and will also be subject to stringent restrictions during their stay.

The arrival will be a boost for organisers who are battling persistent public opposition and doubts about whether the Games can, or should go ahead.

Click here to read more on the story

May 31, 2021 - 10:16 (IST)

Fans need to be vaccinated or provide COVID-19 negative test to enter venues, says report

Tokyo Olympics fans may have to be vaccinated or test negative for the coronavirus before being allowed into venues, a Japanese newspaper report said on Monday.

Cheering, eating, high-fives and drinking alcohol would also be banned under controls now being considered, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said, citing unnamed government officials.

Organisers are set to decide in June how many spectators— if any— will be allowed to attend the pandemic-postponed Games.

Overseas fans are already barred, and the report warned domestic spectators may be denied entrance or kicked out for breaking the rules.

"The plan is to stop the spread of infections during Games time with strict countermeasures," the paper said.

Click here to read more on the development

May 27, 2021 - 16:47 (IST)

Japanese physician warns of 'dangerous' implications if Games are held amid coronavirus

A physician representing a Japanese medical body warned on Thursday that holding the postponed Tokyo Olympics in two months could lead to the spread of variants of the coronavirus .

Dr Naoto Ueyama, chairman of the Japan Doctors Union, said the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government had underestimated the risks of bringing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the country, joined by tens of thousands of officials, judges, media and broadcasters from more than 200 countries and territories.

“Since the emergence of COVID-19 , there has not been such a dangerous gathering of people coming together in one place from so many different places around the world,” he said, speaking in Tokyo at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan. “It’s very difficult to predict what this could lead to," he added. 

Click here to read more on that

May 25, 2021 - 10:52 (IST)

US CDC, State department warn against travel to Japan

US health officials and the State Department warned Americans against travel to Japan because of a surge in coronavirus cases in the country. "Because of the current situation in Japan even fully vaccinated travellers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants and should avoid all travel to Japan," the CDC have said. The twin alerts don't ban US citizens from visiting the country, but they could have an impact on insurance rates for travellers and may factor into decisions by Olympic athletes and spectators on whether to compete in or attend the games.

More: US authorities warn against travel to Japan

May 22, 2021 - 12:06 (IST)

Games-bound athletes among 148 to receive first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

As many as 148 athletes across all sports, including those who have qualified for the upcoming Tokyo Games, have already received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, according to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).

Out of these 148 athletes, 17 have got both the doses and 131 have received their first shot, IOA president Narinder Batra said.

These 148 include potential athletes who can make it to the Tokyo Olympics which open on 23 July.

Besides this, 13 Tokyo Paralympic-bound athletes have got their first vaccine shot while two have received both doses. The Tokyo Paralympics opens on 24 August.

Click here to read the full story 

 

May 21, 2021 - 22:28 (IST)

Games will go ahead ‘whether there’s a state of emergency or not’: IOC's John Coates

The IOC vice president in charge of the postponed Tokyo Olympics said Friday the games would open in just over two months even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 cases.

John Coates, speaking from Australia in a virtual news conference with Tokyo organisers at the end of three days of meetings, said this would be the case even if local medical experts advised against holding the Olympics.

Click here to read the full story

May 19, 2021 - 11:18 (IST)

Tokyo Medical body urges Summer Games organisers to cancel event

In one of the strongest statements so far, the 6,000-member Tokyo Medical Practitioners’ Association called for the Olympics 2020 to be canceled in a letter sent last week to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and Seiko Hashimoto, the head of the organizing committee.

Read more on the letter

May 14, 2021 - 13:59 (IST)

State of emergency to grow

With 10 weeks left to Tokyo Olympics, three more regions in Japan will go into a state of emergency to combat COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, the petition calling for Games to be scrapped has now reached 350,000 signatures. Kenji Utsunomiya, a former candidate for Tokyo governor, submitted the petition to city authorities, IOC and IOC.

Read more on the latest development

May 13, 2021 - 10:18 (IST)

USA track and field team scraps pre-Games camp over coronavirus concerns

The US track and field team have scrapped plans for pre-Olympic training in Japan over concerns about safety during the pandemic, Japanese officials said.

US athletes were supposed to train in Chiba, outside Tokyo, before the pandemic-postponed Games open on 23 July.

But the Chiba regional authority said in a statement the team cancelled "because of concerns over athlete safety as the coronavirus pandemic continues around the world with no prospects of winding down".

"Although the cancellation is extremely regrettable, we think it is the best decision... given the current situation," the region said.

Click here to read the detailed story

In January this month, US Olympic and Paralympic Committee chief executive officer Sarah Hirshland wrote a letter to Team USA athletes preparing for Tokyo Olympics.

“Our expectation today is that the Games will go forward,” Hirshland wrote. “They will look and feel different than any previous Games, as we will all be asked to continue to make sacrifices and adaptations to protect the health of our community.”

As the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics grow larger on the horizon, adaptation and sacrifice will become the motto for an Olympics and Paralympics like no other.

Deferred by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, which brought all sporting action to a grinding halt for over half a year in 2020, the Olympics will start with a muted Opening Ceremony on 23 July.

With just 58 days left on the clock for the Games, there are as many questions as answers. How frequently will athletes be tested? What happens when an athlete tests positive?

The IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers have sought to clarify some doubts and allay fears about a cancellation. The IOC and Tokyo 2020 organisers have tried to answer some of these questions, and allay fears of cancellation of the Games, by releasing four ‘Playbooks’ for different stakeholders of the Games. Two more versions of the Playbooks are expected, which will break down in minutiae what athletes, fans, National Olympic Committees and Federations can expect.

As of now, the Playbooks suggest that athletes will be asked to come to Tokyo only five days before their events, and leave within 48 hours of their events ending. Other measures will prohibit athletes from socialising, shaking hands or hugging others. Under the guidelines, athletes will be tested for the virus at least once every four days, and will be barred from competing if they return a confirmed positive test.

Meanwhile, fans, should they be allowed in arenas, will be asked not to cheer loudly, and stay masked at all times when in arenas.

Updated Date:

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