— TODAY (@TODAYonline) May 5, 2021
I’ve been catching news updates about the already-postponed-till-this-July ‘2020’ Tokyo Olympics as part of my daily coronavirus update reading, especially since the official 100-day countdown in mid-April. While I understand how important this event is to the athletes involved — at this level, athletic perfection is as evanescent as any cherry blossom, and another postponement / cancellation will be devastating for them — right now, it’s not looking good for the IOC…
Two officials in Japan’s ruling LDP party say changes could be coming to the Tokyo Olympics. One suggested they still could be canceled, and the other said even if they proceed, it might be without any fans.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) April 15, 2021
… So, because this *is* the IOC, they’ve decided to attract more media attention in just about the worst possible way:
The Olympics will now BAN any athlete who wears a BLM shirt, kneels during the national anthem or raises a fist to oppose racism. This sends the WRONG message about basic human rights & I urge the Olympic Committee to reverse this decision! https://t.co/Arfbpr32UQ
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) May 5, 2021
After all, such fiats have worked out so well in the past.
Sally Jenkins, sportswriter for the Washington Post — “Japan should cut its losses and tell the IOC to take its Olympic pillage somewhere else”:
Somewhere along the line Baron Von Ripper-off and the other gold-plated pretenders at the International Olympic Committee decided to treat Japan as their footstool. But Japan didn’t surrender its sovereignty when it agreed to host the Olympics. If the Tokyo Summer Games have become a threat to the national interest, Japan’s leaders should tell the IOC to go find another duchy to plunder. A cancellation would be hard — but it would also be a cure.
Von Ripper-off, a.k.a. IOC President Thomas Bach, and his attendants have a bad habit of ruining their hosts, like royals on tour who consume all the wheat sheaves in the province and leave stubble behind. Where, exactly, does the IOC get off imperiously insisting that the Games must go on, when fully 72 percent of the Japanese public is reluctant or unwilling to entertain 15,000 foreign athletes and officials in the midst of a pandemic?
The answer is that the IOC derives its power strictly from the Olympic “host contract.” It’s a highly illuminating document that reveals much about the highhanded organization and how it leaves host nations with crippling debts. Seven pages are devoted to “medical services” the host must provide — free of charge — to anyone with an Olympic credential, including rooms at local hospitals expressly reserved for them and only them. Tokyo organizers have estimated they will need to divert about 10,000 medical workers to service the IOC’s demands.
Eight Olympic workers tested positive for the coronavirus during the torch relay last week — though they were wearing masks. Less than 2 percent of Japan’s population is vaccinated. Small wonder the head of Japan’s medical workers’ union, Susumu Morita, is incensed at the prospect of draining mass medical resources. “I am furious at the insistence on staging the Olympics despite the risk to patients’ and nurses’ health and lives,” he said in a statement…
The predicament in Tokyo is symptomatic of a deeper, longer-lasting illness in the Olympics. The Games have become a to-the-very-brink exercise in pain and exhaustion for everyone involved, and fewer countries are willing to accept these terms. Greed and blowout costs have rendered it an event that courts extreme disaster. In September, a report out of Oxford University’s business school found that the IOC has consistently “misled” countries about the risks and costs of hosting. Example: The IOC pretends that a contingency of about 9.1 percent is adequate to cover unforeseen expenses.
The true average cost overrun on a Summer Games? It’s 213 percent…
Tachikawa Sogo Hospital in Tokyo
The sheets say: "Medical care has reached its limit – NO OLYMPICS!" "Give us a break – NO WAY OLYMPICS CAN HAPPEN!" pic.twitter.com/8mY4Bjafz9
— Steve Harris (Tokyo) (@futsal1958) May 3, 2021
Of course, the dual IOC/USA repressions didn't scare Smith and Carlos in 1968, despite the risk of becoming blacklisted and outcast. I find it hard to believe that many black US athletes will be intimidated in 2021, when they will likely be regarded as heroes by many, if not most
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) April 22, 2021
Does nobody see the hypocrisy of mandating one form of political speech (anthems, flags and loyalty rituals around them) and forbidding the other? Politics is an ENORMOUS part of the Games. Politics of adulation and nationalism. Politics of protest should be as well.
— Slava Malamud (@SlavaMalamud) April 22, 2021