Tokyo & The Olympics: Debacle 2020-21

Hey Friends, Family & Fans,

Many of you have checked in on me to ask about the Olympics. This short post is for ya’ll.

The Olympic Rings Symbolize?

Actually, I share my 4th Japan-iversary, July 23, 2021, with the start of the delayed and maligned Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The series of scandals surrounding the Olympics is illustrative of bigger issues in Japan. Misogyny and pandering to the moneyed class is common place here.

Nearly 70% of the population here is unvaccinated. An almost equivalent portion do not want the games to take place. The city of Tokyo is on a sort-of lock down, and yet the Japanese government has allowed COVID positive Olympic crew to enter Japan. The welfare of Japanese residents barely goes into the IOC’s profit calculations.

This deeply anti-democratic approach makes me disgusted with the organizers of the Olympics. Yet, after four years here, I am not so surprised by Japan’s reaction. It seems that the worst of Japanese misogyny and work-to-death culture often fall on Japanese residents.

Thanks to my Twitter binge, I finally managed to get the second COVID vaccine two weeks ago. I followed some Twitter handles in the Tokyo community who were plugged into clinic information. There were irregular, continuous updates to follow the low down on which places had open vaccine appointments. Others here have taken a more sane approach. Most people are slowly coming around. While I wear a mask everywhere, I still do not feel comfortable in crowd places.

So, no, I will not be attending any ceremonies (even the residents of Japan were not allowed). Also, I will not be crowding around venues to try to peer in.

Many great articles have been written about the power dynamics between Japan and IOC. This piece from the Washington Post puts it well. The Olympics are pillaging Japan:

The Olympic events are now ongoing, broadcasted all over earth. At the same time, the COVID numbers in Tokyo have been rising. As a resident of Tokyo, I am nervous. It seems that we are subject to a larger game. When the Olympics variant of the corona virus comes out, will the IOC be held responsible?