Caleb Pereira ’23
The Olympics are always a time of excitement. Athletes from across the world from a plethora of sports train incredibly hard in hopes of representing their country at either the summer or winter games. People from all nations are brought together as they cheer on their countries in hope of success. The Olympic Games never cease to live up to their excitement, but controversy and challenges over the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo and Beijing that stem away from sports might put their fate into jeopardy.
Tokyo, Japan is set to host the Olympic Summer Games this summer. These games have been long overdue, as they were already delayed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these games have been met with large amounts of controversy from Japanese citizens over whether the games should be postponed again or even cancelled. This controversy comes in response to the still ongoing pandemic, where many countries across the world are experiencing new waves of COVID-19.
The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government have been making great attempts to keep the Olympics running. International fans have already been barred from the games and athletes and will be subject to strict protocols during their time in Tokyo. It makes sense that both parties are trying their best to keep these games going.
The Olympics in Tokyo is set to be the most expensive summer games yet at 12.6 billion USD (15.8 billion CAD). The postponement of the games to this year has also increased this cost by 22% to 15.4 billion USD (19.4 billion CAD). The Tokyo Olympics are currently set to begin on July 23, but time will tell whether these games will go on.
The 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China are also experiencing controversy in response to the ongoing allegations of human rights abuse of Uyghur Muslims against the Chinese government. Many countries, including the United States of America and Canada, have already spoken out about the situation in China, which has inspired the talk for a boycott of some sort of these winter games.
Whether these rumoured boycotts are only diplomatic, or a full-on athletic boycott barring any athlete from attending, is still unknown. However, the Chinese government continues to deny the claims of human rights abuse and has threatened to enact political sanctions on any country that does boycott the Olympics. The winter games in Beijing are still almost a year away, but the following months have the potential to drastically change the landscape of these Olympics come February of next year.
The uncertainty regarding whether these Olympics will go on remains; there is enough time for decisions to be made for either one of the upcoming games. However, if we have learned anything from the last year, we know that anything can happen. So as the Olympic Games approach, we can only hope that nothing further unexpected that would alter the execution of the games happens.