The Tokyo Summer Olympics Struggle During a Pandemic

Thousands of athletes and spectators prepared for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. However, all of their excitement crumbled down when the Olympic games were delayed. According to, the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics are scheduled to happen from July 23 through August 8, 2021–this summer. How will COVID-19 safety precautions change the Summer Olympics?

There have been many questions related to how the athletes, staff, coaches, and media members are going to stay safe. More than 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries are expected to descend on Tokyo for the Games, with another additional 4,000 for the Paralympics, as well as thousands of officials, support staff, coaches and members of the media.

The first problem that arises is how athletes, coaches, and members of the media arriving from hundreds of different countries will get tested. Tokyo has already built the Olympic Village, consisting of high-rise apartment buildings, which holds 18,000 people, and the Paralympic Village which holds 8,000 people. However, it is unsafe as the village has many people from around the world put into a small area. Tokyo would probably enforce a quarantine, likely lasting at least one week. This would make the athletes unable to practice their sport during quarantine as they are trapped in their apartments. 

What if an athlete or coach’s test came back positive? The athlete or coach would have to quarantine for likely another week. After the quarantine, the athlete or coach may have a lower performance level due to the effects of the virus and not being able to practice their sport.

The second issue is monitoring the media and staff. Media and staff members outside of Tokyo would have to be quarantined. But where would they stay? In addition, many media and staff members from Tokyo would have to travel back and forth from the Olympic Stadium to their home which is risky. 

The third issue is that the Olympics are selling tickets to people in Tokyo. There are over 4 million spectators coming into the stadium. With just one person having the virus, it could spread across many spectators and staff, and possibly the athletes and coaches.

I am unsure how the Olympics will enforce COVID Restrictions. Maybe with the vaccine coming into place, COVID cases could come close to ceasing. Overall, I am very interested to see how the Olympics will organize Tokyo 2020.