The delayed 2020 Tokyo Games will open on Friday 23 July with a muted opening ceremony that will mirror what to expect from this pandemic Games.
With actual stadium audiences all but removed this will really be a ‘made-for-TV’ Games, with competitors desperately trying to avoid testing positive at the last hurdle and seeing their dreams of Olympic glory become a footnote to this very different Games.
Within just days of arrival in Japan, Team GB has already been hit with a Covid scare, after six athletes, plus two staff members were forced to isolate on arrival in Japan.
They were in close contact of positive Covid-19 cases on their flight to Japan last Thursday and have since provided negative PCR tests and are reported to be back training (in isolation).
To date more than 70 athletes and others related to the Games have tested positive for the Covid virus and are in isolation.
But no members of the British Sailing Team have been reported as testing positive or isolating
For the competitors at the Enoshima sailing base the lack of a live audience will not be much of a change to their normal event situation.
It is only at recent Olympics – the 2021 London Games providing a particularly successful audience venue – that an effort has been made to provide a ‘stadium’ situation for the final Medal races.
The big change for sailors at the Olympics is that they get any media coverage at all.
So full-time television coverage over the entire sailing programme will be a huge plus for sailing fans . . . Even if the presenters do have a tendency to assume that the audience somehow pressed the wrong button and know nothing about the sport.