The most heated competition of the Tokyo Olympics appears to be taking place before the Opening Ceremonies.
As it stands, Corey Conners and Mackenzie Hughes will represent Canada in men’s golf, with Brooke Henderson and Alena Sharp teeing it up in Japan in women’s golf.
Whether they get to Tokyo in a little less than two months remains to be seen as those who yay and those who nay the Olympics are engaging in a war of words that is getting louder as the days dwindle down to go time.
A survey conducted in mid-May by a national newspaper shows 83 per cent of respondents say the Olympics should be cancelled or postponed for a second year. You can read more here.
The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association, representing 6000 doctors, has asked the government to scrap the Olympics and an online petition with 350,000 signatures called for a cancellation.
Japan is experiencing a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases, many of them with new variants. Tokyo and other areas are currently under a state of emergency.
However, the International Olympic Committee is digging in its heels on the issue. IOC member Dick Pound, a Canadian, told CNN on Tuesday that cancellation is “essentially off the table.”
Pound believes a bubble can be created around the Olympics and adds that everything is being done to organize a safe and secure event.
No spectators from outside of Japan will be admitted, athletes will be tested daily and must wear a mask when not training, competing or doing interviews, but they don’t have to quarantine when they arrive, nor be vaccinated in order to compete.
Whether the IOC and Japan are taking too big a gamble in staging the Olympics will be the subject of debate that will surely get louder with each passing day and will likely causes athletes and officials in participating nations to rethink their participation.
For an event that is meant to bring the world together, it’s doing quite the opposite.