After a year’s delay, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be going ahead beginning 23 July 2021, despite concerns from the capital about Covid-19 and its implications.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government are pressing ahead with safety measures in place, like the Games being held behind closed doors and participating athletes allowed minimal contact in accordance to Covid-19 precautions.
Here are some facts and figures of the games, which aims to be the ‘greenest ever’ Olympics and will boast a Sakura torch.
0 number of spectators
Athletes will be competing behind closed doors following Tokyo’s entering into a state of emergency beginning 12 July 2021 to curb the widespread public concern of the potential spread of Covid-19. In March, it was announced that all ticker-holders will be barred from entering; thankfully, they will also be refunded.
33 number of sports
A total of five new sports sports – baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing – are featuring for the first time in this year’s games, while some, like basketball, include new events, bringing the total number of sports to 33 this year.
A total of 339 gold, silver and bronze medals will be given out this year. They are made from recyclable parts from approximately 6.21 million cellphones and computer parts in a bid to make this Olympics “the greenest ever”
43 venues across Japan
The games will take place across 42 venues this year. Add to that the Olympic Stadium Tokyo where the opening ceremony will be taking place and it brings the the total of places involved to 43. The number includes 8 new permanent venues and 10 temporary ones, added to the 25 existing venues from before.
Between participants in the Summer Olympics and Paralympics, there are 11,500 athletes from 206 countries, made up rather equally of 51% males and 49% females. Of the total, 40.5% are Paralympians.
30 Malaysian athletes
Malaysia’s contingent this year is made up of 30 strong athletes competing across 27 events from 10 sports ranging from archery and badminton to rhythmic gymnastics and swimming. They include Farah Ann Abdul Hadi, Goh Liu Ying and Cheong Jun Hoong.
80% athlete vaccination rate
A good 80% of athletes staying in the Olympics Village are vaccinated. Compared to that, only 8-30% of the Japanese public are vaccinated.
4,15,000+ calls for cancellation
In the leadup to the games, 4,15,000 people have signed a petition asking the Tokyo Olympics to be cancelled. Data also shows about 62% of Japanese do not want the games to commence. Additionally, 6,000 doctors have also voiced their opinion on the same to cancel.
On paper, Japan is recorded has having spent $15.4bn on the postponed Olympics so far, with about $6.7bn being the country’s taxpayers’ money. However, the figure could be much higher according to government audits estimates. Papers also show that billions more will be lost if the games were cancelled yet again.