Plenty of challenges remain with 100 days until Summer Olympics

Plenty of challenges remain with 100 days until Summer Olympics
A man and a woman stand with a backdrop of the Olympic rings floating in the water in the Odaiba section Thursday, March 18, 2021, in Tokyo. Tokyo Olympics creative director Hiroshi Sasaki is resigning after making demeaning comments about Naomi Watanabe, a well-known female celebrity. Sasaki who was in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics, told planning staff members last year that Watanabe could perform in the ceremony as an “Olympig.” (Source: AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO, JAPAN (WWBT) - Athletes have been waiting longer than normal for these particular Summer Olympics. After being postponed in 2020, the Tokyo games are just 100 days away.

Of course, a rocky road remains as the festivities approach, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused the Olympics to be delayed in the first place.

The International Olympic Committee is not mandating that athletes be vaccinated upon arrival for the games, though the organization is strongly encouraging those who expect to participate to get their shots. To date, less than one percent of Japan’s population has been vaccinated, according to CNN, and spectators will be limited to those who live in the host country.

USA Today is reporting that the opening and closing ceremonies will likely be downsized quite a bit to prevent a mass gathering event that could serve as a mass spreader of the virus. The IOC is also mandating that athletes are limited to shorter stays in the Olympic Village and participants can expect plenty of coronavirus testing, as has been the case in many sports across the globe.

The games will take place as COVID-19 cases surge in the host country. Tokyo officials have implemented new vaccine mandates that run through the middle of May. According to a poll done by Kyodo News in Japan, about 72 percent of Japanese residents think the games should either be postponed or canceled, while only 24.5 percent feel the Olympics should go on as scheduled.

Either way, U.S. athletes are excited to finally put their skills on the world stage. Some athletes have already punched their tickets, while other trials are taking place this week. Swimming and track and field will hold their Olympic Trials in June to decide who will compete in Tokyo.

The Opening Ceremony is on July 23. NBC12 is your local home for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

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