Olympic athletes and world competitors seek to take their talents to the highest stage and become a part of history. The pandemic that is ending has altered many lives. As the world heals, less than 10% of the globe is fully vaccinated. Should we move forward with the Olympics next month?
The decision is not ours to make. It is up to the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government and the athletes who are participating. Let us not forget the Japanese people who have financed, worked on, and promoted the games as well as the coaches and managers who have worked tirelessly to get the athletes up to par. It is an extremely hard decision, one with severe consequences – both good and bad. We are mistaken if we make generalities about other countries, communities, and people.
The distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine on a worldwide scale has not been a simple process. It takes time and the vaccine has been out less than year. It will be a foreboding task for the world to receive the shots needed in both dense city populations and rural, wilderness, and farm communities.
Then there are the economics and business factors surrounding the Olympics. The money spent and to be gained do not supersede the importance of health, the infected, or the lives lost, but it is a component. Japan has spent billions on the Olympics with the goal of opening the country’s doors in 2020 and letting the world see the beauty and culture of the Japanese people. Money from ticket sales and sponsorships will pay for the infrastructure created for the event. It’s not going to happen as planned as Japan is not allowing visitors into the country, and the games will be kept to a 50% capacity.
There are many issues to consider when assessing how large-scale events should be handled in this pandemic era. We hope for the best and that solid decisions are made with the safety precautions that keep everyone safe. We look forward to the competition as these world-class athletes are given an international stage to compete so that everyone can see the greatness they are trying to achieve.