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Tokyo Olympics chief not ruling out COVID cancelling the Video games

Tokyo — The COVID-19 menace is looming massive over the Tokyo Summer season Olympics, the place the competitors kicked off on Wednesday even earlier than the opening ceremony Friday. The U.S. girls’s soccer group had a disappointing begin of their quest for Olympic gold, shedding 3-0 to Sweden of their first recreation.

The U.S. girls’s softball group got here by with a win, nevertheless, beating Italy of their first matchup.

However simply two days earlier than the Video games are set to formally open, the coronavirus was nonetheless stealing a lot of the eye.

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CBS Information correspondent Jamie Yuccas needed to get two COVID exams in Los Angeles earlier than she even set off on the 5,500-mile journey to cowl the Video games. She is required to remain at her resort for the primary 14 days, solely permitted to go to work areas, pre-approved Olympic venues, and the convenience-store across the nook.

And people protocols are simply as strict for Olympic athletes and their groups. Whereas no one is required to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, the security guidelines are strict and contain rigorous testing for anybody linked to the Video games. Any athlete who has are available shut contact with somebody testing optimistic should check day by day and quarantine in a single dorm room, together with for his or her meals.

With the opening ceremony solely two days away, uncertainty surrounding what was initially deliberate because the 2020 Summer season Video games continued on Wednesday.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto stated officers would proceed to watch the scenario because it unfolds. In contrast to the Worldwide Olympic Committee chief, nevertheless, Muto wouldn’t explicitly rule out pulling the plug on the Video games, even at this late hour.

“No matter he supposed to say, and I think they don’t seem to be actually discussing the potential for cancellation concretely, he ended up telling the entire world that the Olympics might get cancelled,” Japanese political scientist Koichi Nakano, of Tokyo’s Sophia College. “The truth that nobody rushed to this point to ‘right’ the misunderstanding, it should imply that nobody feels optimistic sufficient to ensure that the Video games will proceed to the tip. I feel the truth that Toyota, Keidanren, and a number of different sponsors, company bigwigs, determined to tug out of the opening ceremony should be stunning to the [Prime Minister Yoshihide] Suga authorities, in addition to to the Organizing Committee. In that sense, I feel Muto ended up implying that cancellation is a chance.” However USA At present sports activities columnist Nancy Armour stated that was merely “not going to occur.”

“That practice left the station an extended, very long time in the past,” she informed Yuccas. “These Video games are occurring.” However the variety of optimistic circumstances continues to rise — not simply in reference to the Olympics, however throughout the Japanese capital. New day by day infections in Tokyo surged to a six-month excessive on Wednesday, with town logging 1,832 new circumstances. Your complete capital area remained below its fourth state of emergency as a result of pandemic, and all followers have been banned from Olympic venues within the Tokyo space.

Police officers guard a road next to the Tokyo Olympic stadium, July 21, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. / Credit: Carl Court/Getty

Cops guard a street subsequent to the Tokyo Olympic stadium, July 21, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. / Credit score: Carl Court docket/Getty

“What we’ve anxious about is now really occurring,” Toshio Nakagawa, president of Japan’s nationwide medical affiliation, informed reporters this week. “The surge in circumstances has been anticipated whether or not we’ve the Olympics or not, and we’re afraid that there will probably be an explosive enhance in circumstances whatever the Olympics.”

Already greater than 70 individuals linked to the Olympics, together with athletes and workers, have examined optimistic for the coronavirus.

NBA star Bradley Beal by no means even made it to Japan. He is been pressured to overlook the Olympics after potential publicity to the virus within the U.S. Fellow USA Basketball star Katie Lou Samuelson examined optimistic earlier than leaving the U.S., and tennis star Coco Gauff and gymnast Kara Eaker have additionally returned optimistic exams. Eaker made it so far as the Japanese coaching floor with USA Gymnastics earlier than she examined optimistic.

“Now each morning I am checking social media to see if the ladies have posted photographs of them at coaching,” USA At present’s Armour informed Yuccas. “I am checking with USA Gymnastics and the US OBC to see how did everyone check unfavourable once more right now… there isn’t any magic protect round you simply since you have been vaccinated.”

Regardless of the well being and security considerations, the pinnacle of the World Well being Group referred to as the video games a “celebration of hope” on Wednesday.

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