Give the athletes a break in 2020

Regarding the June 20 article “Holding 2020 Games in August dangerous“: What was Tokyo’s Governor’s Office thinking when it made its pitch to the International Olympic Committee?

Has any IOC member jogged around the Imperial Palace in downtown Tokyo in late July or early August, when the noonday temperature hits 40 degrees Celsius — due to the “heat island” effect — and the humidity index can reach 70 percent. Tokyo’s summer climate is like a hot steaming sauna for two or three months; there’s nothing mild about it! Tokyo is no place for strenuous outdoor sports from about July 15 to Sept. 21.

Enough with the media-driven games. Re-schedule the 2020 Olympics for early to mid-October when the weather really is ideal for outdoor athletic competition. If it was acceptable to hold the Tokyo Olympic Games in October back in 1964, why not again? Why must the athletes be held hostage to sponsors, media coverage, commercialism and the summer holiday crowds? Come on Japan, give the athletes a break! Only a crazed masochist would participate in a 42-km race in Tokyo’s summer heat.

If Japan’s Olympic Committee can’t change its schedule, then for God’s sake create a sports venue in the Fuji-Hakone region for all outdoor athletic contests. The Fuji-Hakone national park is often at least 10 degrees cooler than Tokyo with far less humidity. Forget the ganbare factor.

robert mckinney
otaru, hokkaido

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.