Recent sporting events in Tokyo have set the tone for how a coronavirus-hit Olympic Games could take place.
For the first time ever, Japan’s professional baseball played pre-season games behind closed doors, and the annual Tokyo marathon banned amateurs and was scaled back to just a few hundred professional athletes.
In past years the event attracted more than 38,00 competitors and 1 million spectators, this year the public was strongly discouraged from lining the route.
Via: CBC News … www.cbc.ca
This is all part of Japan’s escalating response to the global coronavirus epidemic . . . closing schools and cancelling mass events. Football, rugby and sumo have also been affected.
A crowdless Olympics?
Modern technology could bring all the action to a screen near you – as it does now for the vast majority . . . but would it be the same for the competitors or for the screen watching spectators without the crowd interaction?
And the Olympics are not just a couple of teams, for a couple of hours.
Tokyo 2020 is expecting over 11,000 competitors in over 300 events, plus team coaches and event officials over two weeks of competition.
The International Olympic Committee are continuing to monitor the spread of the coronavirus, and World Sailing are expected to make an announcement with regard to the Olympic class sailing events due to take place as the European season ramps up.
While the major effect at present is being seen on the world money markets and the economic effect to global trade supply routes, the human day-to-day reponse is only just starting to hit home.
The practical effect on travel, as more countries restrict free movement across borders and apply quarantine rules, could well upstage the decision makers, with potential competitors and spectators deciding be safe rather than sorry.
In Britain, health secretary Matt Hancock has confirmed that ministers would publish a plan to explain how they may tackle coronavirus (Covid-19) if it becomes a pandemic.
This is expected to include banning large gatherings of people at sporting events and concerts.
Note: The winner of the marathon was Birhanu Legese of Ethiopia.