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Tokyo Olympics Will Continue Despite COVID-19 State Of Emergency

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – As the Olympic torch continued to rack up miles on its journey through Japan, a new public opinion poll indicated a majority of Japanese citizens believed the games should be canceled this summer because of the pandemic.

 The poll showed 60% of the Japanese people agreed with canceling the Olympics. 

Japan’s Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, defended himself to Parliament this week, saying he has never put the Olympics first. 

“My priority has been to protect the lives and health of the Japanese population,” said Suga. 

The Prime Minister added that the final decision on the Games is up to the International Olympic Committee.

Thomas Bach, President of the IOC, said the Games will go on as planned. 

However, Bach postponed next week’s scheduled visit to Japan as the country is under another state of emergency because of a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections.

“In this kind of uncertainty, it’s only human that you also feel uncertain,” said Bach. 

Meanwhile, athletes continue to train. 

U.S. Climber Kyra Condie, who lives and trains in Salt Lake City, and who is on the Olympic team, said the lack of competitions the past year has made it tough to get experience.

That’s what made two big events planned for later this month so important.

“We’re actually really lucky there are going to be two back-to-back World Cups in Salt Lake where we can get on those competitions and climbs to get that practice before the Olympics,” said Condie. “So, although we didn’t have it this year, we have it now.”

Olympic organizers practiced, too.

Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium recently hosted a test event with no fans so organizers could look for any weaknesses in their COVID-19 plans.

U.S. Olympic sprinter Justin Gatlin was a part of that event and said it seemed to work well.

“Maintaining a bubble for the athletes to be able to stay healthy, and also the citizens of Japan to be able to stay healthy with foreign athletes coming into the country,” said Gatlin. “I think it was a success. Definitely different. It’s going to be hard to adapt,t but the caution is definitely needed.”

Opening Ceremonies are still planned for July 23rd. 

You can watch them on KSL TV.

KSL 5 TV Live

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