Top Olympic officials and athletes are arriving in Tokyo to a state of emergency because of a spike in coronavirus cases. Last week’s emergency declaration means no spectators will be allowed to attend the games, turning this Olympics into a truly a made-for-TV event. This is not the first time the highly anticipated event has been hobbled by COVID-19. The games already were postponed for a year, and Japanese protesters are still warning that “infections will definitely spread if the Olympics are held.”
Class discussion: Were Japan’s leaders right to ban spectators from the Olympic Games? Should the games go ahead in spite of the COVID-19 emergency? Why or why not? How much money has Tokyo spent to host the games? How much is it likely to lose because of the loss of attendance at the Olympics and loss of tourism spending? Why do cities like Tokyo keep competing to host the Olympics when it is often a money loser? The last summer games lost a record $2 billion. Where were they held?