Connect with us

Sports

Tokyo Olympics: Spectators from abroad to be barred from games this summer, says IOC

tokyo-olympics:-spectators-from-abroad-to-be-barred-from-games-this-summer,-says-ioc

By AP

This photo shows the Olympic rings installed at the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo on Friday, March 19, 2021.


This photo shows the Olympic rings installed at the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo on Friday, March 19, 2021.

  –  
Copyright 
AP Photo/Hiro Komae

Spectators from abroad will be barred from the Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months, the IOC and local organizers said Saturday.

The decision was announced after an online meeting of the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo government, the International Paralympic Committee, and local organizers.

The move was expected and rumored for several months. Officials said the risk was too great to admit ticket holders from overseas during a pandemic, an idea strongly opposed by the Japanese public. Japan has attributed about 8,800 deaths to COVID-19 and has controlled the virus better than most countries.

“In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” the Tokyo organizing committee said in a statement.

About 1 million tickets are reported to have been sold to fans from outside Japan. Organizers have promised refunds, but this will be determined by so-called Authorized Ticket Resellers that handle sales outside Japan. These dealers charge fees of up to 20% above the ticket price. It is not clear if the fees will be refunded.

“We could wait until the very last moment to decide, except for the spectators,” said Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the organizing committee. “They have to secure accommodations and flights. So we have to decide early otherwise we will cause a lot of inconvenience from them. I know this is a very tough issue.”

IOC President Thomas Bach called it a “difficult decision.”

“We have to take decisions that may need sacrifice from everybody,” he said.

The financial burden of lost ticket sales falls on Japan. The local organizing committee budget called from $800 million income from ticket sales, the third largest income source in the privately finance budget. Any shortfall in the budget will have to be made up by Japanese government entities.

Overall, Japan is officially spending $15.4 billion to organize the Olympics. Several government audits say the actual cost may be twice that much. All but $6.7 billion is public money.

About 4.45 million tickets were sold to Japan residents. Organizers are expected next month to announce the capacity at venues, which will be filled by local residents.

The ban on fans from abroad comes just days before the Olympic torch relay starts Thursday from Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan. It will last for 121 days, crisscross Japan with 10,000 runners, and is to end on July 23 at the opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Tokyo.

The relay will be a test for the Olympics and Paralympics, which will involve 15,400 athletes entering Japan. They will be tested before leaving home, tested upon arrival in Japan, and tested frequently while they reside in a secure “bubble” in the Athletes Village alongside Tokyo Bay.

Athletes will not be required to be vaccinated to enter Japan, but many will be.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sports

Matic delivers Croatia a first ever World Championship gold

By Richard Good
 & International Judo Federation

Matic delivers Croatia a first ever World Championship gold

No Croatian had ever won a Judo World Championships gold medal, but Barbara Matic put that right in the -70kg contest on day five of the year’s tournament in Budapest.

Matic put in some unstoppable judo to reach the final. There she faced the Japanese veteran Ono Yoko, who herself looked in fine form with her uchi-mata throws and notorious skills on the ground.

A tense contest for gold

The Croatian won a tense contest by holding onto a waza-ari advantage, taking the title ten years after she was crowned Junior World Champion.

Husain Al Musallam, President of the International Swimming Federation, presented the medals.

“I was like, you already have a world medal, you already did a great job,” Matic said afterwards. “Now all you can do is just bring your heart to the tatami and fight to the end, and it was like that.”

A final between two attacking powerhouses

Reigning champion and world number one Nikoloz Sherazadishvili from Spain was the strong favourite in the -90kg contest, and he showed why with a fantastic uchi-mata to eliminate Nagasawa Kenta of Japan en route to the final.

Uzbekistan’s Davlat Bobonov would face him for gold, after showing that he too was a big thrower, as well as defeating home favourite Krisztian Toth in the semis.

The final between two attacking powerhouses didn’t disappoint; an o-uchi-gari for ippon sealing the contest for Sherazadishvili.

Tunde Szabo, State Secretary for Sport for Hungary, awarded the medals.

“Every time we need to improve, this is my mindset,” explained Sherazadishvili afterwards. “That I need to improve, also that I win but I want to be better and to improve more things. But I am in good shape, this is why I came here.”

The category also saw a bronze medal for Sweden’s Marcus Nyman, who defeated Nagasawa to secure his first-ever World Championship medal.

Local hero Toth took the other bronze. The scenes of jubilation involving him and his family were the highlight of the day: he’d missed out on a medal in Budapest back in 2017.

Continue Reading

Sports

Phil Foden happy to be called the ‘Stockport Gazza’ after pre-Euros haircut

Phil Foden has said he does not mind being called the “Stockport Gazza” after inviting comparisons to the former England midfielder by dying his hair blond.

Foden is one of the most exciting youngsters in England’s squad and he has done nothing to quell the hype by recreating Paul Gascoigne’s bleached look from Euro 96. The Manchester City midfielder posted a picture of his new haircut on Instagram on Tuesday, captioning it “Euro 96 vibes”, and he wants to emulate Gascoigne on the pitch at Euro 2020.

“I’ve had the same haircut for ages now so I thought I would try something new and woke up this morning with a lot of comparisons to Gazza and Eminem,” the 21-year-old said. “It was my own thing and people have turned it into something else.

“I remember watching highlights on the TV of Gazza – unbelievable player. The nation knows what he means for the country and what he did. I wouldn’t be too bad if I try to bring a bit of Gazza on the pitch.”

Foden was not born when Gascoigne helped England to reach the last four of Euro 96 but he understands the significance of the “Stockport Gazza” nickname. “I don’t mind that at all,” he said. “He’s a great player.”

Foden’s teammates are not planning to copy his haircut. “Not too many are as brave as me,” he said. “They like their hairstyles as they are.”

Foden thanked Gareth Southgate for giving him a second chance after he was sent home from international duty with Mason Greenwood last September. The young duo breached coronavirus protocols by inviting two women to the team hotel in Reykjavik after England’s win over Iceland in the Nations League.

“I made a massive mistake,” Foden said. “I was young. Gareth told me if I keep doing well, keep performing well, I should get another opportunity. So I had to work really hard for that. Not many managers would give you another opportunity so I have to thank Gareth a lot for giving me another opportunity.”

Continue Reading

Sports

Florence Griffith Joyner’s trailblazing fashion sprints to the front with film

The news that Tiffany Haddish will produce and star in a film about Florence Griffith Joyner has renewed attention on the Olympic champion’s brilliant if controversial career – and shone new light on her trailblazing fashion.

In the late 1980s, when the sprinter shot to fame, no one looked like her. “Flo-Jo” competed in outfits that were part-rock star, part-cartoon crusader, a unique look to which Beyoncé and Serena Williams have recently paid tribute.

Announcing her project, Haddish said she was “looking forward to telling Flo-Jo’s story the way it should be told. My goal with this film is making sure that younger generations know my ‘she-ro’ Flo-Jo, the fastest woman in the world to this day, existed.”

Griffith Joyner was the first American woman to win four medals in track and field at a single Olympic Games, in Seoul in 1988. However, since her death 10 years later, aged 38, her sporting legacy has been muddied by allegations of doping – despite the fact she never tested positive and was subjected, according to the chair of the International Olympic Committee’s medical commission, to “all possible and imaginable analyses”.

Away from the track, Griffith Joyner’s style made her a pop culture phenomenon. Running in one-legged spandex bodysuits, shiny leggings, full hair weaves and s 6.5in painted nails, she brought MTV zest to the track.

Florence Griffith Joyner poses in Los Angeles on 5 April 1988.
Florence Griffith Joyner poses in Los Angeles on 5 April 1988. Photograph: Tony Duffy/Getty Images

“No male athlete [has] brought glamour and individuality to his sport as well as being at the top of his sport,” Donna Lopiano, president of the Women’s Sports Foundation, said at the time. “She is a combination of Dennis Rodman and Michael Jordan.”

Like those NBA stars, Griffith Joyner blurred lines between sportswear and the catwalk. She could knit, crochet and manicure, skills which helped create her looks.

“She was designing uniforms in high school and clearly understood how one presented themselves to the world determined how they were received by audiences,” says Darnell-Jamal Lisby, a fashion historian.

“She was keen on connecting her passion for the sport through her style, while also understanding that she was one of the only black women on that level who also served as a role model for future generations.”

That came to pass. In February, Serena Williams paid tribute at the Australian Open with a hot pink, orange and black one-legged bodysuit. In 2018, Beyoncé dressed as Flo-Jo for Halloween, in a version of her violet unitard.

The “one legger”, as Flo-Jo called it, was created accidentally.

“It was a two-legged outfit and I was going to make another style [but] I was cutting one leg off and I liked that look,” she told Jet magazine.

“Some people think that one-legged outfits are more bare than having both legs out …I think it was shocking. People say it’s too much for sports. They figure people can’t run fast wearing that.”

She also said she was “here to say you can wear anything you want if you’re ready to go when the guns go off. You’re going to run fast regardless. Makeup is not going to stop you. The outfit is not going to stop you.”

Her style remains influential. In the case of Beyoncé, Lisby said, “the idea of presenting oneself in this ‘superhero-like’ depiction is very integral to her artistry, as it was Joyner’s. Showing black women in such powerful perspectives was and still is key in motivating members of the black community and women across the world.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending

Copyright © 2016-2021 2Fast2Serious magazine.