Coming 23 July, and a few weeks from now, a village of athletes, will be flooded with participants from across the world.
Let us dive deep into the topic and see what preparations are ongoing for the Olympics and the safety of the athletes.
To give a brief about the preparations made by the organizers, let us start from the arrangements made for their stay. There is an arrangement for bedrooms big enough for 2 participants, A gym that can hold 500 athletes at once to train with keeping in mind the social distancing guidelines, and a dining area with a capacity of 45000 and a fever clinic isolation room. These are just a few facilities to start with which will play a major role in preventing athletes from the infection. But the question is, to what extend? To what length will these facilities forestall the participants from the infection?
Constructing an entire village to home thousands of athletes would have indeed turned out to be a massive challenge for organizers. But they have put in strict safety measures to combat the deadly virus.
Regarding living arrangements, 2 athletes are supposed to share the rooms, but this time rooms are bigger than a usual hotel room. The aim is to help follow the guideline of social distancing. The beds and the rest of the materials used to make the other furniture is cardboard which environmentally friendly. Coming to the dining area, the arrangements made to mitigate the risk of the virus are strict and less fun.
An app has been developed that will help athletes to know the time when the least number of participants are using the dining area so that they can safely have their meals. Also, the tables they are supposed to dine on will have plastic dividers. The athletes are supposed to have their meals alone and quickly. These precautions are not easy, but that is away the organizers are trying to eliminate the risk. The main and the most intended-to-use facility, the gym, is made keeping in mind social distancing guidelines, and the organizers have put out a rule that every athlete is strictly supposed to wear a mask. Now, this does not sound that appealing, but keeping in mind the situation of covid, athletes are bound to do so to train using the facility.
Facilities are made to cover any athlete having fever or shows symptoms of covid. The organizers have closely examined the hospitals, and isolation rooms and with collective efforts with doctors have put up a fever clinic isolation room. This clinic consists of a laboratory where an athlete can go and get his PCR test. If tested positive, the athlete will be shifted to an isolation room. The isolation rooms are made with a unique air filtration system that will not let the virus get out of the room until the athlete can be shifted, to a better facility or hospital.
To further cut down the risk of the spread of the virus, the organizers have requested to not use the condoms they give away as part of spreading awareness regarding HIV and AIDS. They have requested the athletes to take them back with them and spread awareness in their home country.
So, the athletes are asked to keep their distance from each other and have fewer opportunities to mingle and more.
The organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also banned the fans (abroad) from attending the event to curb the risk of the rapid spread of the virus. Also, the venues' maximum
capacity is yet to be decided, As the cases in Osaka, Tokyo, and elsewhere are rising.
This time, the athletes' welcome package will consist of a 70-page document, the rules they would have to obey to stay in the tournament regarding their movement and behavior. Potential fines will also be charged if the rules and protocols are breached.
The athletes will be subjected to a 3-day quarantine upon arrival and daily tests to curb the risk. Also, the athletes are expected to leave the country within 48 hours of their last event.
Looking at the vaccination drive in Japan, it has reportedly been slower than in other Asian countries. Being a host for such a massive number of athletes and other workers the village is bound to work to its optimum capacity and keep in mind the constant risk of an outbreak of the virus, which literally can result in another wave.
Parties after the event to celebrate wins will also not be entertained. And athletes are expected to get to their rooms after their event.
Looking at the condition and the arrangements made to curb the spread of the virus, people have mixed opinions. According to the poll, most Japanese residents are against hosting the event. The government is still holding the event, showcasing a belief in their arrangements and the efforts they have put behind them. It would not be the same Olympic experience for athletes as well as spectators.
The organizers will give the best of what they can serve and allow the athletes and coaches to stay at the athletes’ village.
But the question remains the same, to what extent will these arrangements restrict the spread of the virus? Well, the answer to this and many questions remain unanswered. But the organizers and the IOC is continuously working toward increasing the standards of their arrangements. And to give the best of what they can to the athletes. All we can do is to wait and watch and if it all goes well, then surely, enjoy the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
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