For a lot of people, the decision to hold off on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo was one of the first major indicators that this covid thing was the real deal, mainly because of the billions of dollars its postponement cost. No one just kisses that amount of money goodbye without a great deal of handwringing, and based on how long it took the International Olympic Committee to do the right thing, you know they only did it because they were forced to.
Though the pandemic is far from over, John Coates, the vice president of the IOC, has announced that the Games will proceed in 2021 regardless of the status of coronavirus. The people need their badminton, god damn it!
“It will take place with or without Covid. The games will start July 23 next year,” Coates told the AFP, insisting that the forthcoming inevitable Olympics will be “the Games that conquered Covid.” Or they’ll be the Games in which a bunch of world-class athletes got infected and died, who can say.
And if the Olympics are going forward, which apparently they are, what will they even look like? In July, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said the Games could possibly have a “limited” audience, but they would prefer to avoid having no spectators at all. He also said that a vaccine was not a prerequisite, though health experts expressed doubt whether the event could realistically be held without one.
“If a vaccine is ready, that will be a benefit, but we’re not saying we can’t hold the event without it—it’s not a precondition,” Muto said.
All in all, it seems clear that the number of unknowns involved make it hard to declare that the Games will happen, no matter what. Has Coates forgotten that the U.S. has an unstable baby at its helm who I’m sure would have no qualms about nuking the planet to smithereens if someone wakes him during his nap time? How about we just make it 2021, period, and go from there?