The Tokyo 2020 Games are being held under the unprecedented circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. With many people worldwide facing enormous hardships, these Games strive to bring the world together as one.
The Australian women’s softball team was the first group of overseas athletes to arrive in Japan.
The Olympic and Paralympic Games—said to be viewed on television by 4 billion people around the globe—have the power to unite the hearts of people the world over. To send out the message of the world’s potential to come together and of being able to overcome the enormous hardship of COVID-19, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games commence at last on July 23.
The context of the COVID-19 pandemic presents an unprecedented challenge to this year’s Games, setting them apart from those held until now. However, that is exactly why all involved in Tokyo 2020 have been striving to succeed in holding safe and secure Games, and bring to full fruition a historic event that gives hopes and dreams to the children of today who will be the pillars of the future.
The Playbooks contain rules for infection control measures. In addition to the Playbook for athletes and officials, other editions have been designed specifically for broadcast and media personnel, the general Olympic workforce, and other groups, including international federations.
Under the guidance of the World Health Organization and scientific experts, Olympic officials have come together to formulate safety measures, known as the “Playbooks,” representing the culmination of the efforts of all those involved in realizing Games that are safe and secure. The Playbooks for each group of stakeholders contain specific rules for the safety and health of all the participants and host-country residents alike.
To prevent infection via droplets, all participants in the Games are to wear masks at all times, except when eating, drinking, training, competing, and sleeping. Furthermore, thorough infection control measures have been put in place to minimize interaction with other people. These include avoiding the Three Cs—closed spaces, crowded places, and close-contact settings—along with frequent handwashing and ventilation, as well as the maximum avoidance of using shared items.
Participants from overseas are required to submit a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test before coming to Japan, and are subject to retesting upon arrival in the country. Routine testing is also carried out during the Games. A smartphone app “OCHA” has been created to manage daily reports on a person’s physical condition and trace instances of close contact with infected persons. In addition, athletes and other personnel, instead of using public transport, must use dedicated Games vehicles operated according to hygiene protocols.
These strict rules also apply to broadcast and media personnel, as well as all other people involved with the Games, with separate rules for each group. Minimizing these individuals’ movements also ensures the safety of all the participants and the people of the host country, Japan.
The whole world’s attention this summer is focused on a festival of sport that is being conducted in accordance with thorough safety measures. It has been decided that most of the competitions are to be carried out without spectators, making it difficult for the public to show their support for the athletes by cheering directly from the stands. However, the feats of the dauntless athletes, who have continued to train under challenging conditions, are being broadcast on live TV and online streaming, serving as a beacon of hope for 4 billion viewers across the globe. By all means, heartily shout out your support to the athletes this year remotely, be it through your television or other device.
While the athletics test event in May was held without spectators, it was carried out successfully, and top athletes participated with excitement.