Monday, June 21, 2021

Mendoza: Certain of its uncertainty


All Write

Doubts never wane. Doubting Thomases still abound. And for a reason.

The Tokyo Olympics will never happen until it has happened. It will never start until it has started.

Even as the torch relay struggles to trod on nearly five weeks since it took off in Fukushima, its ultimate aim to ignite the flame of Olympic takeaway remains in limbo.

Until the Games’ anthem is played, the five rings will stay still.

Not until after the hymn’s last note is hummed will the first whistle be blown.

For what it is today, barely 75 days to the Olympic blastoff, the world’s biggest sporting event is certain of its uncertainty. That’s for sure. Recent events attest to that. Strongly.

This week, it’s happening. Again. Tokyo is being buffeted once more by coronavirus tremors.

Lockdowns here and there are being mulled over seriously, centering on four major prefectures, namely Osaka, Kyoto, Hyogo and, yes, Tokyo itself.

As per a Reuters report, Japan will likely extend its state of emergency in these areas beyond May 11 “as the country battles a surge in Covid-19 cases.”

No less than the Yomiuri Newspaper has reported earlier that an extension of the state of emergency was expected.

And should the emergency measures imposed on April 25 be extended, they would trigger more concerns on the feasibility of holding the Olympics set to begin on July 23.

The pandemic has scuttled the original 2020 staging of the quadrennial event. Another cancellation could completely cause a total collapse of what is arguably the most expensive

Olympics in history.

A catastrophe, considering the billions of dollars going down the drain in infrastructure investments, television contracts and advertising deals.

Should Japan’s Premier Suga extend the state of emergency, Tokyo’s restaurants, bars and karaoke parlors serving alcohol will have to close and spectators will be banned from big sporting events.

A visibly concerned Olympic president Thomas Bach has planned to visit Japan later this month to assess the situation that is being exacerbated continuously by the public’s call to cancel the Games.

Bleak and black. Ah, this Covid-19. Really ruthless.


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