In Japan criticism of the Olympic players is mounting – also among officials and those affected
It is officially said time and time again that the Olympics are primarily intended for athletes: indoors. It is your chance to surpass yourself in front of an audience of billions, to become famous in a fringe sport, to make your country proud. Athletes have been working for this opportunity for years. And when the Olympic Games begin, the dream will come true even without victory. There be everything.
In the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, there wasn’t much to hear from these joyful anticipation choruses. The pandemic is a major problem and worries the sports class around the world. Where can I get vaccinated and when? What should i pay attention to if i have an infection? What will happen to the distinguished qualification events? Many questions remain open. Among other things, this essential game: Should you really be a part of these games?
A year ago, it was athletes from abroad who practically forced a one-year delay through their publicized doubts about the Games in the summer of 2020. Because after repeated assurances that the Games would go ahead as planned, the Tokyo organizers only gave in when the national federations of Australia and Canada reiterated the concerns of some of the athletes . But in that country where Tokyo 2020 was supposed to be the biggest stage for athletes: in Japan.
After a year it turned out to be different. A survey of 42 Japanese athletes by NHK radio station at the start of the year documents widespread skepticism and low anticipation at least. And 38 per cent stated that their motivation is diminishing under the current situation. Additionally, 26% found that public debate about the usefulness of these games also had an effect on their mind.
And the whole thing is no longer just unknown. “As an athlete, I want to make it happen. As a person, I don’t want that,” said long-distance runner Hitomi Nia, who is known for her strong opinion, in an interview when asked if she is looking forward to the Olympics: “As an athlete, I want to make it happen. As a person, I don’t want that.” Early in August she announced that the Games could also be canceled. “If the citizens are against it.” Nia might also have spoken about herself, because she has already said, “Honestly, I think life is more important than the Olympics.”
“There are more important things.”
Sports official Kaori Yamaguchi, a bronze medal winner in judo at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and a member of the Japanese Olympic Committee’s executive committee, also expressed doubts. In an opinion piece in the liberal Asahi Shimbun, she complained: “The position of leaving people behind and playing the games simply is not in the original mathematical sense of Olympiad. It seems that it is about politics, economics and cold considerations.”
Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, urged the world not to discuss any further failure. “All these speculations are hurting the athletes in their preparation.” It’s not clear what hurts the athletes the most: to be silent about the risks or talk about them openly. “I think there are more important things right now. I have to think carefully about every step, today and tomorrow. The world is full of dangers,” said Takuya Haneda, the Japanese bronze medalist in the canoe slalom at the 2016 Rio Games, of his preparations for the Olympic Games. At the moment. ”Presence is not everything for everyone these days.