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xaxat

Off-Season Olympics Coverage

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This may be a very unpopular opinion, but despite my overwhelming love for winter sports, and thus by extension the Winter Olympics, I am sincerely hoping that the world grows a damn spine and boycotts the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Because (1) the Uighurs and (2) their refusal to comply with needed transparency over the origins of the Covid virus and (3) the latest outrage: https://apnews.com/article/china-tv-blackface-performers-new-years-7da7eb251c3e2e26f67f673769266823 

 

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And in related news, Salt Lake City, which had expressed interest in hosting the 2030 Winter Games, is now thinking about waiting to bid on 2034 instead, since Sapporo, Japan has now emerged as a strong candidate for 2030.

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On 2/12/2021 at 2:45 PM, isalicat said:

This may be a very unpopular opinion, but despite my overwhelming love for winter sports, and thus by extension the Winter Olympics, I am sincerely hoping that the world grows a damn spine and boycotts the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. Because (1) the Uighurs and (2) their refusal to comply with needed transparency over the origins of the Covid virus and (3) the latest outrage: https://apnews.com/article/china-tv-blackface-performers-new-years-7da7eb251c3e2e26f67f673769266823 

 

Sorry, but this only hurts athletes. For America to act all high and mighty about boycotting the Olympics when it cages children, lies about WMD and willingly murders Black Americans for petty crimes... is priceless. 

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Does Ralph Lauren have incriminating photos of the USOC? It feels like they have had the contract forever.

And we always know what we are going to get.

 

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They look the same every year.  And they certainly don’t have any “personality”.   Are they even trying any more?

 

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1 hour ago, xaxat said:

Things are not looking good on the covid front in Japan.

Japan to declare state of emergency in Tokyo amid pre-Olympics Covid surge

 

When only 1.1% of your population has had one dose of a COVID vaccine and only 0.6% is fully vaccinated, it's not surprising that you're still struggling with big outbreaks.  If Japan really intends to host the Games, its government seriously needs to start vaccinating everyone immediately.

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What a lose/lose situation for so many involved. I only recently found out about the lack of vaccines in Japan—too much bad news to keep track of. I naively assumed they would be doing everything they could to ensure things happened safely.

I’ve been watching the sport climbing US team qualifiers and some recent World Cup stuff. I got into watching it after stumbling on some mountaineering documentaries when I was sick a couple of years ago, and I was so excited that it would be part of the Olympics this year.

My husband and I are not sports people, but we really love watching the olympics, even events with tons of matches like curling and table tennis. This summer, in lieu of traveling, we were going to take off work and just sit around and eat junk and booze it up and watch the games. Now I feel bad for even hoping they happen, since it seems it will only harm the local population. :/

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 I only recently found out about the lack of vaccines in Japan—too much bad news to keep track of. I naively assumed they would be doing everything they could to ensure things happened safely.

Yes. What is up with that?  I assumed they would be ahead of the US in vaccination rates, so I don't get it.  They sneeze and they put on masks. 

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What was explained to me a few weeks ago by a friend who has worked with Japanese people and companies before is that it's a hallmark of the culture to take forever to effectuate things like this on a nationwide scale.  Something like the COVID vaccine comes along, and committees need to be formed, data must be gathered and analyzed, all sides must be considered and talked about for a hundred years, and then a decision will be reached.  I have no idea how accurate that is, but it makes sense to a degree since the culture is historically very deliberately insular.

I'm also sure access to large numbers of vaccines has been an issue as well; it's easy to forget how asymmetrical that kind of thing is.  The US, Canada, and most of Europe generally have plenty of vaccines available to them; however, most of the rest of world (with a few exceptions, most notably Israel) does not.

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12 hours ago, NUguy514 said:

I'm also sure access to large numbers of vaccines has been an issue as well; it's easy to forget how asymmetrical that kind of thing is.  The US, Canada, and most of Europe generally have plenty of vaccines available to them; however, most of the rest of world (with a few exceptions, most notably Israel) does not.

Canada doesn't - it has minimal domestic production.  Japan is in a similar situation in that most of their vaccine is going to be imported, so that means extensive reviews, etc.

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Right now, I am leaning towards a slightly better than even chance that the 202One Olympics will happen.   I will be shocked if there are any spectators at all.  
 

If the Olympics don’t happen this July, I can’t see them being postponed, again.  I think it would be a straight up cancellation, see you in 2024.

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Of all the countries I would've thought had their shit together, Japan would be at the top of the list. Sucky gov'ts are everywhere, I guess.

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On 4/22/2021 at 12:44 AM, NUguy514 said:

What was explained to me a few weeks ago by a friend who has worked with Japanese people and companies before is that it's a hallmark of the culture to take forever to effectuate things like this on a nationwide scale.  Something like the COVID vaccine comes along, and committees need to be formed, data must be gathered and analyzed, all sides must be considered and talked about for a hundred years, and then a decision will be reached. 

It's a very collaborative country.   When you are an island nation with few natural resources, everyone must collaborate in order to survive.  Unfortunately that means in times like this when you have to move fast, you just can't.  Because of entrenched collaboration.   But goodness the vaccines have been out for a while, the trials were going on for months, some of this could have been started knowing the Olympics were comiing.  

I feel so bad for the athletes.   Many sports have a very small window of opportunity to be in an Olympics, like 1 shot, maaaaaybe 2.   If this is cancelled many promising athletes will never get a chance to compete in the highest competition.  

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6 hours ago, merylinkid said:

It's a very collaborative country.   When you are an island nation with few natural resources, everyone must collaborate in order to survive.  Unfortunately that means in times like this when you have to move fast, you just can't.  Because of entrenched collaboration.   But goodness the vaccines have been out for a while, the trials were going on for months, some of this could have been started knowing the Olympics were comiing.  

I feel so bad for the athletes.   Many sports have a very small window of opportunity to be in an Olympics, like 1 shot, maaaaaybe 2.   If this is cancelled many promising athletes will never get a chance to compete in the highest competition.  

It's also a country with very strict drug laws. Went there and even Tylenol you have to get from behind the counter at pharmacies. 

Unfortunately that also means that Japanese people are hesitant about putting any pharmaceutical in their body as there's such a harsh stigma for taking any sort of substance.

It's a wonderful country but definitely one where if you go in with a Western POV you're likely to be shocked.

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On 5/11/2021 at 7:18 AM, merylinkid said:

I feel so bad for the athletes.   Many sports have a very small window of opportunity to be in an Olympics, like 1 shot, maaaaaybe 2.   If this is cancelled many promising athletes will never get a chance to compete in the highest competition.  

Plus if it isn't cancelled, they go, and an outbreak occurs they'll take a lot of heat from the overly self righteous.  "You selfish pricks put your own careers above the lives of innocent people and look what happened.  And don't blame the higher ups - if you have an ounce of courage you wouldn't have gone in the first place."

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I am becoming more and more doubtful the Games will take place.  Unless they can get a huge uptick in vaccinations in Japan, which they don’t have a lot of time for, it just seems dangerous to bring in so many people from all corners of the world.  

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I read that Japan will have to pay a fine if they cancel as hosts so they're going to do everything they can to avoid that.

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5 hours ago, scarynikki12 said:

I read that Japan will have to pay a fine if they cancel as hosts so they're going to do everything they can to avoid that.

I can see why they don't want to do that and want to host. But I just don't see how at this point its going to happen with the current surge and how few in Japan who have been vaccinated.

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I feel terrible for the athletes, but given the large number of citizens who are against the games it just seems, for lack of a better word, rude to carry on as planned.  I mean, your hosts have said they don’t want you, but you are going to show up to the party anyway

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32 minutes ago, Mittengirl said:

I feel terrible for the athletes, but given the large number of citizens who are against the games it just seems, for lack of a better word, rude to carry on as planned.  I mean, your hosts have said they don’t want you, but you are going to show up to the party anyway

So do I. I love the Olympics and watching so many different sports. I want to see Simone Biles kicking ass in gymnastics and other gymnasts I've been watching the past four/five years. I love watching the swimming and diving. And beach volleyball. The athletes have worked so hard to get to the Olympics and after such a horrible year it would be great to watch the Olympics. But so many people are against it, so few are vaccinated and surges still happening. Its not safe. I know so many athletes won't get another chance at the Olympics.  But its not worth risking their health and so many more by continuing with the Olympics. It needs to be canceled.

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8 hours ago, scarynikki12 said:

I read that Japan will have to pay a fine if they cancel as hosts so they're going to do everything they can to avoid that.

There will be DECADES of litigation over "force majeure" if it is in the hosting contract.   IOC just wants their money, healty and safety of the athletes be damned.

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I will sorely miss track & field, and swimming, but I hope they cancel.  

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health and safety of the athletes be damned.

AIf you're over the age of 12, you can get vaccinated safely. Geez... And now the US has vaccination tourism.  With no audience, we're only talking 20,000 people total.  What's the big deal?  Heck, the US probably throws away 20,000 vaccines every day.  If the athletes can't get vaccinated before they go, stay home.  If you think it's cruel, well, the US missed 1980 and the Russians missed 1984.  So there's that ... 

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2 hours ago, AuntieDiane6 said:

AIf you're over the age of 12, you can get vaccinated safely. Geez... And now the US has vaccination tourism.  With no audience, we're only talking 20,000 people total.  What's the big deal?  Heck, the US probably throws away 20,000 vaccines every day.  If the athletes can't get vaccinated before they go, stay home.  If you think it's cruel, well, the US missed 1980 and the Russians missed 1984.  So there's that ... 

Not every country has access to the Pfizer vaccine which I think is the only one approved for 12+.  There are a lot of athletes who haven't secured their spot for their country's team.  Do you vaccinate everyone you think might make it?  In every country?  That gets tricky and would be a logistical nightmare.  The US could pull it off, but if Japan is having issues, imagine what less developed countries would be enduring.  I wouldn't want an Olympics with only 1st world countries.  Give me oiled up Tonga man and the Indonesian ping pong (ok, table tennis) teams alongside Simone Biles and Katy Ladecky to make it the world wide event I really want to see.

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13 hours ago, Bewitched said:

Not every country has access to the Pfizer vaccine which I think is the only one approved for 12+.  There are a lot of athletes who haven't secured their spot for their country's team.  Do you vaccinate everyone you think might make it?  In every country?  That gets tricky and would be a logistical nightmare.  The US could pull it off, but if Japan is having issues, imagine what less developed countries would be enduring.  I wouldn't want an Olympics with only 1st world countries.  Give me oiled up Tonga man and the Indonesian ping pong (ok, table tennis) teams alongside Simone Biles and Katy Ladecky to make it the world wide event I really want to see.

 

I am sure they all have their teams set a good month in advance; if for no other reason than for visas.  That gives them plenty of time to get a vaccine.  If nothing else, their diplomats can bring a suitcase full of vaccines home for their athletes.  Japan was going to require athletes to quarantine at home anyhow.  And I am sure that any country that has a champion team will FIND a vaccine.  Many of the world's poorest countries have plenty of money ... in the dictator's secret Swiss bank account.  

 

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2 hours ago, AuntieDiane6 said:

I am sure they all have their teams set a good month in advance; if for no other reason than for visas.  That gives them plenty of time to get a vaccine.  If nothing else, their diplomats can bring a suitcase full of vaccines home for their athletes.  Japan was going to require athletes to quarantine at home anyhow.  And I am sure that any country that has a champion team will FIND a vaccine.  Many of the world's poorest countries have plenty of money ... in the dictator's secret Swiss bank account.  

 

This is not really an accurate representation of the vaccination situation right now. For instance, Canada is a very advanced nation with a huge athlete contingent but it's struggling to vaccinate people for various reasons. 

Some countries have very serious covid outbreaks right now and are prioritizing vaccinations for the elderly (think India). Other nations are finally getting their footing with vaccinations but it takes time. Even in the US we haven't vaccinated about half the population.

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Canada is a very advanced nation with a huge athlete contingent but it's struggling to vaccinate people for various reasons. 

Only 314 Canadian athletes competed in the Summer Olympics.  Hopefully, Canada can find that many vaccines for its athletes.  If not, well, the Games will go on.  

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12 hours ago, AuntieDiane6 said:

Only 314 Canadian athletes competed in the Summer Olympics.  Hopefully, Canada can find that many vaccines for its athletes.  If not, well, the Games will go on.  

It's more a worldwide problem though. An example is Germany: very advanced nation, but the vaccination process has been hampered by problems and it's only gaining it's footing recently. The reasons are complex and the Olympics should not be heavily slanted towards the countries which can vaccinate their athletes. It's a worldwide event.

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On 5/24/2021 at 12:54 PM, AuntieDiane6 said:

I am sure they all have their teams set a good month in advance; if for no other reason than for visas.  That gives them plenty of time to get a vaccine. 

Not exactly accurate.  US swim trials finish on June 27th.  Olympics start July 23rd.  Pfizer vaccination takes a minimum of 31 days for full inoculation, so not enough time in between.  Gymnastics has the same timeframe.  Most of the teams want to arrive at least a week in advance to adjust to timezone, altitude, climate, etc.  Just isn't feasible for the US team, much less countries without our vaccine supply.  I guess in theory USOC could use the J&J vaccine but that still barely works with the timeframe.

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57 minutes ago, Bewitched said:

Not exactly accurate.  US swim trials finish on June 27th.  Olympics start July 23rd.  Pfizer vaccination takes a minimum of 31 days for full inoculation, so not enough time in between.  Gymnastics has the same timeframe.  Most of the teams want to arrive at least a week in advance to adjust to timezone, altitude, climate, etc.  Just isn't feasible for the US team, much less countries without our vaccine supply.  I guess in theory USOC could use the J&J vaccine but that still barely works with the timeframe.

The easy solution for the U.S. is to have athletes who could potentially qualify (even if their sport's qualifying event is later, like swimming) start their vaccinations earlier just in case they are selected. Not to mention, I'm sure plenty of them are already fully vaccinated, as everyone 16+ has been eligible to get it for weeks already.

Other countries is a different issue, of course.

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I think some athletes may be able to get it in another country. I know many train in the US, they probably already got the vaccine. And will represent their home country.

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NPR this morning had a longish piece on the issue of the Summer Olympics and their reporter interviewed on air one of the Committee members, a Canadian whose name unfortunately I did not catch (apparently an Olympic athlete who was then recruited to the Committee once his competitive days had ended). He was very clear that the games are going on, that the athletes will be well shielded and that if there are no fans in the stands that the athletes want to compete in any case. The reporter (of course!) tried on the trope that the only reason the Games are going ahead is *money*...and the interviewee succinctly shut that right down because, as he said, most of the money involved in Japan has already been spent on infrastructure that will still be there, games or no, and the big money, which is TV rights, will be earned through the 99.9% of people watching the competitions who would not have been in Japan anyways and will never actually go in person to an Olympic event. Logistically speaking (he said), postponing the games one year was do-able - postponing for another year is not possible for many, many reasons.

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He speaks pretty confidently for a man who comes from a country (Canada) that has a fourteen day quarantine for non-essential (sports) travelers. Doesn't know when their baseball team (the Jays) will be allowed back in the country and the NHL still has no idea if the winner of the Canadian division will have to obey current quarantine procedures. (Although an exemption is expected soon.)

I also hated how he was so casually dismissive of the concerns of the host country. "Sometimes the science has a tendency to get politicized" is a pretty cheap shot at the medical professionals of Japan. And even if the Olympics managed to pull off a perfect bubble, one of the concerns of doctors and nurses in Japan is the fact that the country is contractually obligated to supply thousands of health care workers to the games. Which is obviously not ideal during a pandemic. Totally understandable why they would rather focus their resources on the citizens of Japan.

 

 

Edited by xaxat
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On 5/27/2021 at 7:48 PM, Bewitched said:

Just isn't feasible for the US team,

They should ALREADY have been vaccinated.  Vaccines in NY have been available for teens for at least two weeks now.  Anyone from any state can get a vaccine in NY.  And many other states are throwing away vaccines because residents don't want them.  Absolutely no reason we can't have a vaccinated team.  

 

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Japan is the fact that the country is contractually obligated to supply thousands of health care workers to the games. Which is obviously not ideal during a pandemic. 

I would think healthcare workers would be the FIRST people in Japan to be vaccinated.  Heck, NYC healthcare workers were vaccinated in JANUARY.  

Edited by AuntieDiane6
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2 minutes ago, AuntieDiane6 said:

They should ALREADY have been vaccinated.  Vaccines in NY have been available for teens for at least two weeks now.  Anyone from any state can get a vaccine in NY.  And many other states are throwing away vaccines because residents don't want them.  Absolutely no reason we can't have a vaccinated team.  

That's nice and all, but a potential Olympian in, say, Wyoming can't just go to New York to get vaccinated unless the athlete has the financial resources to do so and is willing to expose himself/herself potentially to COVID by traveling across the country to New York, which would greatly defeat the purpose of the trip.  One would hope there are enough vaccines in Wyoming.

That doesn't really help the athletes in Ghana or Fiji or Moldova or India or Paraguay, though, and the Olympic Games are supposed to be for them, too.

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3 hours ago, AuntieDiane6 said:

I would think healthcare workers would be the FIRST people in Japan to be vaccinated.  Heck, NYC healthcare workers were vaccinated in JANUARY.  

I don't think it is so much an issue of vaccination, but that the health care workers are going to be needed elsewhere as the pandemic continues to rage in Japan.  Pulling essential healthcare workers away from overwhelmed hospitals so that they can care for vaccinated athletes, coaches and officials is not the best use of limited resources.

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a potential Olympian in, say, Wyoming can't just go to New York to get vaccinated unless the athlete has the financial resources to do so and is willing to expose himself/herself potentially to COVID by traveling across the country to New York, which would greatly defeat the purpose of the trip.  

You can drive from Wyoming to New York in 2 days.  Heck, I made it to California from NY in 3 days with friends. No need to expose yourself to anyone in that scenario.  You're right: let's hope there are enough everywhere.  If teams from poorer nations can't go, that's why the International Olympic Federation GETS $5 billion (or whatever) for TV rights:  to help poorer athletes get to the games.  Besides, out of the 7,000 athletes in the games, the largest contingents are from 1) US  2) Russia  3) China.  4) Germany.  The rest have far smaller numbers.

You have a valid point about healthcare workers ... vaccinated countries should bring their own.  And let's remember, Japan has had 13,000 deaths and 700,000 cases -- fewer than FLORIDA.  (Not to diminish any cases or deaths.)  The numbers HAVE been going down in recent days too as vaccinations have SLOWLY increased.  Heck, there are BIG US military bases there. They should open up vaccinations to the locals.  Just an idea... 

 

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2 hours ago, AuntieDiane6 said:

You can drive from Wyoming to New York in 2 days.  Heck, I made it to California from NY in 3 days with friends. No need to expose yourself to anyone in that scenario.  You're right: let's hope there are enough everywhere.  If teams from poorer nations can't go, that's why the International Olympic Federation GETS $5 billion (or whatever) for TV rights:  to help poorer athletes get to the games.  Besides, out of the 7,000 athletes in the games, the largest contingents are from 1) US  2) Russia  3) China.  4) Germany.  The rest have far smaller numbers.

Not everyone is in a situation where they can just pick up and drive. I think many people think of Olympic athletes as like Simone Biles with the mega endorsements and team of people making sure she gets the best training and the best care. That's actually not the case --most Olympic athletes train with very little limelight and they are in school or have jobs just like the rest of us.

This is the Olympics. I don't want it to become a USA-dominated games just because we have a vaccinated team of athletes. The Olympics are about international competition and athletes shouldn't be punished because the vaccination schedule is different.

In the UK for example the under-40 crowd JUST got access to vaccines a few weeks ago. And their vaccination schedule is going well.

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Also I would like to put out there that vaccinated does not mean "can't get it."   It just means you won't DIE ifyou do.   But long covid is real and in younger people is associated with myocarditis (sp?).   All of which could mean the end of someone's career and possible lifelong disability.   Why?   So we can sit safely in our homes and watch a competition?   Not worth it to me.

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