It seems life on Earth is returning to normal. Many of the major summer music festivals are scheduled to return this fall. It’s something that has already been in effect well overseas. Air travel and vacation hotspots are reporting strong numbers in early data. One thing that many sporting fans have missed is the grand spectacle of live events. The biggest sporting event in the world is making its return this summer with new guidelines in place.
Summer 2020 (postponed to this year) Olympics are being held this year in Tokyo. While watching the world come together and compete in a decades-old tradition is something we could all use right now, there are questions to be answered. Many nations and international health officials have been well outspoken about the impact having this event can have. There are close to 16,000 athletes expected to descend on the city of Tokyo. With so many moving parts going into this monthlong event, it may feel unclear just how serious officials are taking it.
Earlier this week, the International Olympic Committee released their final revision of guidelines, calling it “The Playbook.” The contents of the book detail the updated rules regarding the Olympics. One of the biggest standouts from the rulebook is athletes’ fines. Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi and Olympic Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey spoke about how they plan to introduce healthy practices at the games.
“Respect the Playbook, respect the rules,” Christophe Dubi mentioned in a press conference.
The two went into detail about how they will manage athletes while in Tokyo. They must also agree to have their location monitored by GPS, download several apps, sign a pledge to follow the rules, maintain social distancing, stay off public transportation for the first 14 days and keep organizers informed of their whereabouts.
“We expect everybody to follow the rules. But we also have to be aware there could be infractions,” said Olympic Games Operations Director Pierre Ducrey, also speaking remotely.
What happens if an athlete decides to break protocol? Financial and other harsh penalties will follow. From a warning to temporary or permanent expulsion from the Olympics to the withdrawal of accreditation, or a fine. Olympics officials are taking no chances when it comes to the games. Officials also suggested the Japanese government has the power of deportation, and individual sports federations and national Olympic committees may have their own penalties. Players will also be required to sign a waiver which comes with an added clause, IOC isn’t responsible for any COVID-19 outbreak that may occur.
The International Olympic Committee says more than 80% of those staying in the Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated, a large margin compared to only 5% of the Japanese population being covered. While abroad Olympic fans are banned from attending the events, the Japanese government has yet to vote on local fans attending. Japan’s State of Emergency is set to expire this upcoming Sunday.