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Tokyo Olympics: Vaccines, fans, qualifying, Q & A about costs

Tokyo (AP)-We are at the midpoint. The Tokyo Olympics have been postponed eight months ago and now begin in eight months on July 23, 2021. Crunch time is approaching.

The organizers of Tokyo and Thomas Bach, chairman of the International Olympic Committee, vaguely talked about how the tournament will take place during the pandemic. Plans and dozens of “scenarios” have been created for COVID-19 countermeasures. Quarantine, vaccines, safe distances, and making athlete villages a safe “bubble environment.”

These ideas need to be concrete solutions from next month to early 2021.

The balance is 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympians. The IOC relies on these games from 91% of revenue from the sale of television rights and sponsorships.

There are some questions and answers about where the Olympics stand in some respects.

Q: Bach was in Tokyo this week, but Bach says vaccines and rapid testing are imminent. Bach believes this will make it much easier to host the tournament. Do athletes need to be vaccinated to compete?

A: Bach says “no”. However, athletes, civil servants and fans going to Japan are under pressure to get vaccinated. Authorities suggest that athletes will not face quarantine for 14 days after entering Japan.

IOC Vice President John Coates said the IOC and the National Olympic Committee are looking for a “role model” among athletes to encourage vaccination. Bach states that healthcare professionals are a vaccine priority over athletes. IOC officials also vaguely suggest that Swiss-based organizations will bear part of the cost of vaccination. As is often the case, there is nothing specific.

Q: Can fans enter the venue?

A: I don’t know yet. Bach says he expects a “reasonable” number of fans to attend the event. The decision to allow thousands of fans from abroad has not yet been announced. I have a health problem. However, operating budgets are also under pressure to allow as many fans as possible. The budget is expected to generate $ 800 million in revenue from ticket sales. This is the third largest income item. Japan has successfully hosted sporting events with some fans, sometimes with a capacity level of 70-80%.

Q: How many athletes can already participate in the Olympics?

A: According to people familiar with the matter, 57% of the slots are full. So many are not yet qualified and many qualified events have been abandoned by the pandemic. It is clear that athletes in some countries have more training opportunities than in others. This can leave a non-uniform arena and can force some Olympic slots to be awarded without traditional qualifying events. This is part of the pandemic “collateral damage” to the Olympics.

Q: Who pays for delays and rising costs?

A: The IOC, organizers and local politicians rarely talk about costs. Japan has stated that it has officially spent $ 12.6 billion on hosting the Olympics. But according to last year’s government audit, it was twice that. All but $ 5.6 billion are publicly funded. In addition to this, delays are reported to be between $ 2 billion and $ 3 billion in Japan. No one in the authorities has provided an official number. The IOC has stated that it will chip about $ 650 million for delays, but gives little detail.

According to a study by the University of Oxford, these are the most expensive summer Olympics on record.

Organizers recently announced that the simplification has saved about $ 280 million. This is about 2% of official spending. Tokyo said the cost of the Olympics would be $ 7.3 billion when the Olympics were awarded in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2013.

Q: How is the situation of COVID-19 in Japan?

A: Better than most places, but more cases of infection. About 2,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Japan, and the population is reported to be about 125 million. The number of new cases in Tokyo on Thursday exceeded 500 for the first time. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga states that the country is on “greatest vigilance.” This surge is unlikely to convince those who are already skeptical that the Olympics are a safe and wise idea.

Q: I read that this is the most prepared Olympic Games in history. Is it his true?

A: Bach reiterates this and praises the organizers for being able to adapt quickly during a pandemic. Few countries like Japan can handle postponements.

Therefore, it is ironic that Tokyo was investigated by French investigators in connection with alleged bribery during the bidding for these games. Bach was asked in Tokyo this week by Haruyuki Takahashi about the $ 8 million payment reported by the Tokyo Bidding Commission.

Mr. Takahashi is a former executive of Dentsu, a Japanese marketing company that is a marketing agent for Tokyo 2020. He is reported to have called on IOC members to vote.

“For Mr Takahashi, we have been confirmed that there are no violations of the IOC rules,” Bach said when asked this week.

Former Japanese Olympic Committee chairman Tsunekazu Takeda was forced to resign last year after admitting that he had approved a $ 2 million payment for a bid to a Singapore-based consulting firm. He denied cheating.

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Tokyo Olympics: Vaccines, fans, qualifying, Q & A about costs

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