The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, will take place under unprecedented circumstances, including strict quarantine rules to limit the spread of COVID-19 infections. Despite requests from many places to cancel the Olympics entirely, as well as an increase in coronavirus cases in Japan, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has chosen to proceed with the Games as planned. The games will take place between Friday 23 July to Sunday 8 August 2021.
Who will be taking part in these Olympics?
Top athletes such as defending champion Simeone Biles, favorite Naomi Osaka, and swimmer Katie Ledecky will compete in the world's greatest athletic event.
A total of 127 competitors from 18 sports will compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, which will begin on July 23. This includes two alternate players and one reserve goalkeeper in the men's and women's hockey squads, respectively. There are 228 people in the contingent, including coaches, support workers, and officials. The Indian contingent will include athletes like, PV Sindhu(badminton), Satish Kumar(boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), and Mary Kom (boxing).
Since 2015, when the International Olympic Committee issued new guidelines allowing any transgender athlete to compete as a woman if their testosterone levels have been below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least 12 months prior to their first competition, Laurel Hubbard has been eligible to compete in the Olympics. She will compete in the Olympics for the first time as a transgender athlete. Before transitioning in 2013, Hubbard, 43, competed in men's weightlifting events
COVID protocols at the Olympics
The 2021 Olympics will be less lavish and celebratory, as compared to the previous years. They'll be staged in a confined space. Athletes will not be allowed to explore Tokyo's nightlife, throw post-competition ragers in the Olympic Village, or interact with new international acquaintances.
- There will be no international visitors. Even non-Japanese Olympians' family members will be unable to attend.
- Up to 10,000 Japanese fans were supposed to be allowed to attend. Later, the organizers decided to exclude all spectators from the 2021 Olympics.
- Athletes will be tested daily after a three-day quarantine upon arrival. All of the athletes will be enclosed in a bubble, which means they will not be permitted to interact with the general public and will be required to adhere to certain rules while in the athletes' village.
- The IOC has planned to distribute shots made by Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE, as well as China's Sinovac Biotech Ltd, to athletes who have not been vaccinated before arriving in Tokyo.
- Another major focus will be on restricting contact between Olympians as well as between the Olympics athletes and the Japanese people. However, with tens of thousands of volunteers helping to stage the Games, some touch is unavoidable.
- According to the SSR (Sport-Specific Regulations), if an athlete or a team is forced to withdraw due to COVID, they will be regarded as "did not start (DNS)" rather than "disqualified."
- In most sports with multi-day competitions, a player or team that tests positive can be replaced.
- If an athlete is in the final of an individual event but tests positive for Covid-19, they are replaced by the next highest-ranked competitor from the heats.
- Cafeterias will have dividers to ensure athletes do not come into close contact with one another.
COVID outbreak at the Olympic village
In the last few days, more than 20,000 athletes, coaches, referees, and other officials have arrived in Tokyo, A number of COVID cases involving athletes and others affiliated with the Games have already surfaced.
On arriving at Narita airport, a coach with Uganda's squad tests positive and is quarantined at a government-designated facility. The rest of the squad travels by bus to Izumisano, near Osaka in western Japan, where they will be hosted. Kara Eaker, an alternate for the US women's gymnastics team, tested positive while training in Chiba prefecture west of Tokyo. She will be quarantined for 10 to 14 days, thereby ruling her out of the Olympics.
Inside the Olympic Village, two players and one official from the South African soccer team tested positive. Another 21 people who had been in close contact with them have been placed in solitary confinement. On arrival, a member of Serbia's rowing squad tested positive. The other four members of the team were isolated as close associates. Seven employees at a hotel in Hamamatsu, Japan, where dozens of Brazilian athletes are staying, tested positive for the virus. According to the organizers, nine persons tested positive for coronavirus today, including one athlete who was staying in the Olympic village. a number of athletes and people associated with the 2021 Olympics have tested positive for COVID 19.
Heatwave in Tokyo
Climate change, according to a UK-based organization, has increased the chance of extreme heat and excessive humidity, which could endanger athletes' health and performance. The marathon, which will be held over 500 miles north of Tokyo in Sapporo, where temperatures are projected to be significantly cooler, is one of the events at the Games that have already been moved away from Tokyo due to heat concerns. The city has issued a caution to citizens not to exercise outside, but this does not apply to professional athletes, who may face difficult conditions.
Plague of Oysters
Canoeing and rowing were among the activities planned for the Sea Forest Waterway in Tokyo Bay. A large number of oysters, on the other hand, had attached themselves to floats designed to keep waves from bouncing back over the lake and onto the competitors. Officials were perplexed when the float began to sink due to the weight of the oysters. Solving the oyster problem has become an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. This is hardly the start that anyone had hoped for. The oysters caused $1.3 million (£930,000) in damage, which required immediate repairs.
No sex beds
Olympians have a reputation for getting intimate with one another. They observed something peculiar about the beds and mattresses in the village when they arrived at the Tokyo Olympics. They're constructed of cardboard. Olympic organizers are concerned about transmissions during the Coronavirus outbreak and attempt to avoid close contact as much as possible.
The peculiar design of these beds has led to speculation that they have an ulterior motive. They're said to be trying to keep athletes from getting too close. They've been dubbed the "anti-sex" bed on social media. Ryse McClenaghan, an Irish gymnast, calls the claim "false news." To illustrate the bed's strength, he shared a video of himself jumping on it. The modular mattresses are adaptable to athletes of various body kinds, and the beds can support up to 440 pounds, making them suitable for even the most robust Olympians. The modular bed frames are created by the Japanese business Airweave and are recyclable. The mattresses are manufactured almost completely of renewable materials, which is a first for the Olympics.