Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto has confirmed that there is a high possibility of the Olympics being played behind closed doors. The former Olympian further said that games will only be a success if the athletes and common people are completely safe. The overseas spectators were already barred from attending the event while the decision of allowing domestic fans was delayed till June after a surge in COVID cases in Japan.
“There might be a situation where we can’t allow any spectators to attend,” Hashimoto conceded in an interview.
“The only way that we can call the Games a success is if we completely protect the lives and health of athletes and the people of Japan.”
Japan has seen a sudden rise in the number of COVID cases which has put the future of Olympics in Jeopardy. The country’s health infrastructure is already under a lot of pressure. Many people in the country want the Olympics to be postponed or cancelled. However, Hashimoto believes that holding the event without fans will relieve a lot of stress from the medical system.
“If the event itself does change, I think it will be with regard to spectators,” she said.
“That is one area where we might be able to reduce the anxiety of people who are worried about the medical system.”
The games have never been cancelled outside of wartime and the organizers see no reason to further delay or cancel the tournament. They have instead released a set of rules to gain public confidence. According to the new rules, daily COVID testing will be mandatory for the athletes.