The countdown to the Tokyo Olympics has finally started after a one-year delay due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest sporting event in the world will kick start in 100 days from today (April 14).
However, several questions still remain unanswered due to uncertainties posed by the pandemic. A call on how many spectators will be allowed into venues and how the safety of participants will be ensured is still to be made.
The Olympics are scheduled for July 23 to August 8 and the Paralympics from August 24 to September 5. About 11,000 Olympic athletes will compete in 33 sports, while more than 4,000 Paralympians will compete across 22 sports.
In March, the organisers decided that International spectators will not be allowed into Japan amid fears over new strains of the coronavirus. How many local fans will be allowed to witness the sporting events will be decided this month.
The organisers claim that they are planning health protocols to carry out the Olympics safely with the assumption that participants will not be vaccinated. However, the International Olympic Committee wants athletes to be vaccinated. Participants will have to follow the health guidelines in their 'playbook' regardless of whether they have been vaccinated.
The torch relay began on March 25. About 10,000 runners will carry the torch across Japan over a four-month period. Moreover, four sports will make their debuts at this year’s Olympics.
Karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding will be included for the first time in the Olympics this year.