The International Olympics Committee (IOC) has decided to go on with the Olympic Games starting July despite the looming threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. The games that were initially planned to occur in 2020 had been postponed to this year from July 23 to August 8 due to the coronavirus. Despite the survey on public opinion whether the games should be held resulted in the majority opting for the choice to cancel the event and several petitions demanding the withdrawal of the event, the government of Japan and the IOC has put off any cancellation plan for the games.
The IOC has made out a statement saying strict safety measures would be in place during the event and that games could be played in a bubble. The decision to whether the spectators would be allowed to witness the events are still under study and final decision is to be made at the end of the June as per the IOC. The games are likely to occur without spectators to ensure the players’ as well as public safety. The government has already banned the visit of foreign nationals to the event. The government has faced criticisms over the conduction of this once in a 4-year major sports carnival from opposition as well as public.
As per the WHO update, the country has confirmed more than 700 thousand cases with over 12000 deaths. With virus still threatening the lives of the public, extreme pressures are on government shoulders regarding the danger this megaevent can bring to the public. As per the Olympics committee, the event will have a record 339 events and 33 competitions that will be played across 42 different venues.
The financial costs for conducting this sports carnival are paramount. The cost had already overrun due to the postponement of the games. As per the organizing committee budget reports, the costs have escalated by over 0.9 billion dollars to a current total of over 6 billion dollars. The financial implications of such overrun and the inability to generate ticket costs in absence of visitors are significant. Additionally, the safety of the games and the public is of utmost importance. It is sad to see the festive sports event that attracted millions of spectators from worldwide would have to be conducted in such extreme circumstances without an opportunity for spectators to cheer and support their favorite players.