A look at five stories you may have missed about hopes for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
- In a symbol of Japan’s resolve, a floating set of Olympic rings was reinstalled in Tokyo Bay on Tuesday, having been removed nearly four months earlier after the COVID-19 pandemic forced officials to postpone the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games by one year. The symbol was removed in early August for maintenance, according to the Tokyo Organising Committee. But the reinstallation reflects the determination, for better or worse, to move forward in lockstep with other Olympic bodies and the government to hold the games next summer, writes Ryusei Takahashi.
- The country aims to admit “large-scale” numbers of overseas visitors for the Olympics without mandatory vaccinations or quarantines, provided tourists submit negative coronavirus test results and download smartphone tracking apps on arrival, a media report said Wednesday.
- Olympic organizers plan to require athletes competing at the games next summer to take COVID-19 tests every four to five days, even if they do not show symptoms, as part of efforts to prevent the spread of infections, a government-led panel said Wednesday.
- It’s possible there was another winner last week, when the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks beat the Yomiuri Giants in the 2020 Japan Series — namely Olympic organizers, writes Jason Coskrey. Tokyo 2020 organizers were likely watching closely and the Japan Series’ successful conclusion was perhaps the biggest test of the country’s ability — and willingness — to host a major sporting event with fans since the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted sports earlier in the year.
- After the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics was announced in March, Japan’s men’s national basketball team had hoped to use the extra time to further its development and preparation. The ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, has thrown a wrench in those plans, forcing the cancellation of invaluable practice and game time, writes Kaz Nagatsuka.