The Costly Tokyo Olympics Is At The Halfway Point

The Paralympics is coming. in the middle of the pandemic.

Much of the circus has departed Tokyo but there is another round of athletic events to go with the Paralympics portion of the 2021 International Olympic Committee’s sports gala scheduled to start on August 24th. The International Olympic Committee got very very lucky with the far bigger main Olympics in that there was not a significant COVID-19 Olympic Village outbreak while Tokyo was in a lockdown. The IOC will leave behind quite a legacy, Japan will be paying off the debt of the big event for years or maybe decades with little to show for their money. The IOC ran roughshod over the Japanese government in that the IOC, not the Japanese government, was in charge of whether the Olympics should take place during a health crisis. That seems about right as the IOC actually thinks it is a sovereign country not an athletic association. The IOC has permanent observer status at the United Nations.

After the Paralympics, the IOC’s next show is in Beijing and that is the February 2022 Winter Olympics. The rhetoric will be increasing with the calls on countries to boycott the event for two reasons. China’s human rights record and Uyghur oppression. The United States has accused China of committing genocide on the Uyghurs. Amnesty and Human Rights Watch have published reports accusing China of crimes against humanity. China, according to some, still has not provided answers about the origins of COVID-19. Japan is also going to have to make a decision shortly after losing billions of dollars or yen on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Does the country support a Sapporo 2030 Olympics? There were quite a few people in Japan who wanted this year’s event called off and it would seem unlikely they want the 2030 event. A decision on who gets the 2030 games comes in 2023.

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A child sits in the Olympic rings on display outside the Olympic Stadium where the athletic events were underway at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)