TOKYO (WIVB) — It is day nine of the Tokyo games and outside of the Olympic bubble COVID numbers continue to rise at record levels.
Over 4000 cases in Tokyo earlier, it’s just kind of sad to look at those empty stands and the fact that the people of Tokyo aren’t able to experience that they are hosting. some believe this is politically motivated.
Hard to argue with the words of former International Olympic Committee Executive Michael Payne.
Tokyo is hosting an Olympics during a worldwide pandemic. And the COVID-19 numbers have exploded since the games began. The city broke another record on Saturday with over 4,000 new cases.
From an outsider’s viewpoint, the empty stadiums make sense. But Payne is disappointed.
“You have spectators at the local baseball games. You have spectators at the local sumo. So, hang on. It’s banned for the Olympics, but not banned for other events. Somebody is playing games,” Payne said.
Payne thinks the decision is politically motivated. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time the Olympics were used in that fashion. In the midst of the Cold War, the United States boycotted the Moscow Games in 1980. Four years later Russia returned the favor. Now?
“Clearly caught in the crossfire of a major political battle going on between the governor of Tokyo and the prime minister and the build-up to an election in a couple of month’s time,” added Payne.
The biggest losers here are the Japanese, they’re the ones who can’t see their games.