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Tokyo Olympics Fears grow over sewage leakage and E.Coli – ‘Smells like a toilet’

Tokyo Olympics Fears grow over sewage leakage

The Odaiba Marine Park is set to be the venue for both the swimming leg of the triathlon and the open water swimming competitions. However, concerns have been raised by local residents and now olympians about the smell surrounding the area.

One athlete said that the venue “smelled like a toilet”, according to the Asahi newspaper.

Fears are mounting that there could be a dangerous level of E.coli in the water if the smell emanating is from a sewage leak.

Following concerns raised by the athletes, the hosts have started work to clean up the water, however, the smell remains, along with fears of E.coli contamination.

Tokyo distributed 22,200 cubic metres of sand into the bay to help support water-cleaning organisms.

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To combat the E.coli levels in the water they created a three layer polyester screen and built storage tanks to hold wastewater.

Heavy rain is forecast in the Japanese capital from July 27, which would worsen the situation.

Justin Drew, Australian Triathlon team leader, said that their team will monitor the water quality two times a day leading up to the competition.

“We are confident in the measures put in place by (the Tokyo organising committee) including the installation of a triple filter screening system for this year as opposed to a single filter used last year for the Test Event,” Mr Drew told Fox Sports.

“There are daily checks of water quality and water temperatures and [The Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic Games] has plans in place to address any issues surrounding the water in the build up to competition days.

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“These challenges are part of putting on races in a big city – we’re are just going to get on with preparing to compete.

“We will continue to monitor and be provided with regular daily checks on the water as well.”

The triathlon starts on July 26 and with the high rainfall due to start the next day its fuelling concerns about sewage leaks.

These are not the first complaints about the water quality in the area.

The Odaiba Marine Park is an urban beach in the centre of Tokyo and in 2019 the swimming leg of the Paratriathlon World Cup was forced to be canceled due to dangerously high levels of E.coli.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

1 year later and 150 miles from Tokyo, Olympics set to get underway

A softball tripleheader, which includes Team USA facing Italy, will kick off the Olympic competition in Japan.

FUKUSHIMA, Japan — Skippy the yellow kangaroo with green paws was affixed to the first base dugout railing, watching the Australia Spirit become the first team to work out at Fukushima Azuma Baseball Stadium, seven weeks after they became first foreign athletes to arrive at the Olympics.

Coach Laing Harrow hit grounders and flies to his women starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, exactly 24 hours before the eighth-ranked Aussies step to the plate when host Japan, the No. 2-ranked softball team, throws the very first pitch of the very first event of the pandemic-delayed Olympics.

The Games of the 32nd Olympiad were to have started last July 22 but were pushed back by the coronavirus pandemic. Despite many in Japan questioning whether it is wise with the virus still raging in the country, the International Olympic Committee is pushing ahead.

This ballpark, located about 150 miles north of Tokyo and similar to a big league spring training camp, has only several handfuls of the 11,000 athletes who are converging on the Tokyo Games. The stadium, 42 miles northwest of the location of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, will host the first two days of the softball tournament and the opening day of the baseball event on July 28, with the remainder at the home of the Central League’s Yokohama DeNA BayStars, a big ballpark 17 miles from the capital.

In their bright yellow jerseys, the Aussies were excited to be about to get underway.

“It was disappointing for the girls, obviously, being postponed for a year,” Harrow said. “Some of them would have had plans from after August 2020. And, sure, it wasn’t in their plans to continue to be in the gym every day and training every day. But overall, the girls have really handled that well. And I think one thing we’re very good at is being adaptable.”

The top-ranked United States, seeking to regain the gold medal it lost when it was upset by Japan 3-1 in the 2008 final in Beijing, opens against No. 9 Italy in the second game of a tripleheader that ends with No. 5 Mexico against third-ranked Canada.

Host Japan took batting practice next on a broiling day with 95-degree heat and high humidity, followed by Italy, the United States, Mexico and Canada.

A 15-woman U.S. roster includes a pair of veterans: 38-year-old left-hander Cat Osterman, the last holdover from the 2004 gold medal-winning team, and 35-year-old left-hander Monica Abbott, who joined Osteman on the 2008 team.

Outfielder Janie Reed is the wife of Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Jake Reed, who made his big league debut July 6, had six appearances and was optioned Monday to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

“The aspect of having 16 months, 17 months now since the decision to delay the Olympics has probably caused some environmental things to happen,” U.S. coach Ken Eriksen said. “Number one, the natural order of aging another year for some of the players as far as either enhanced, or maybe it has brought in some consternation, especially emotionally.”

The American team trained in the U.S. through June 20 and started in Japan on July 5 in Iwakuni, 525 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Canada’s team dispersed last March, didn’t gather again until January and landed in Japan on July 6.

“We relied on what many people did, just Zoom calls and just virtual communication and trying to stay connected, but fortunately this time gave way to a lot more individual preparation and a lot of learning and a lot of people pursuing knowledge and just continuing to perfect their craft,” said Canada outfielder Victoria Hayward, who trains at Proswings in Longwood, Florida, to take advantage of better weather. “So we feel very fortunate that we had a little bit of extra time to sharpen our axes and to work together and then in 2021 we’ve been able to be together for a majority of the year unbroken.”

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

Samuelson tests positive for COVID-19, out of Olympics

Samuelson contracted COVID-19 while training in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS — Katie Lou Samuelson is out of 3-on-3 basketball at the Olympics after contracting COVID-19 while training in Las Vegas.

“I will not be able to go and compete in Tokyo,” Samuelson said in a statement. “Competing in the Olympics has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl and I hope someday soon I can come back to realize that dream. I am especially heartbroken as I am fully vaccinated and took every precaution, but I know everything will work itself out in the way it’s supposed to. I wish nothing but the best to my USAB teammates as they go out there and crush it. I’ll be cheering you in every step of the way.”

Samuelson, who plays for the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, flew home to get vaccinated during her European season so that she would be ready to help the U.S. qualify for the Olympics in May.

She’ll be replaced on the roster by Jackie Young, who played for the U.S. in a 3-on-3 training camp in 2020 and also competed in the event in the 2019 World Beach Games. Young joins Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray and her Las Vegas Aces teammate Kelsey Plum.

The Americans had been in Las Vegas training for a week and getting tested every day. They got together off the court only for breakfast and lunch and kept their distance from each other during those meals.

The U.S. team was flying with the 5-on-5 men’s and women’s team to Tokyo on Monday. The inaugural Olympic 3-on-3 tournament starts on July 24 with preliminary rounds played until July 27. The quarterfinals will be played on the 27th with the semifinals and finals the next day.

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

EU power grab: Brussels demands flying EU flag at Tokyo 2020 Olympics ceremony

European Commissioner Margaritis Schinas and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa wrote a letter to International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach asking for the Slovenian team to carry the EU flag.

Slovenia is currently holding the EU Council’s rotating presidency. The two chiefs said that carrying the EU flag at the Olympics opening ceremony would “render Slovenian athletes ambassadors for European unity and the values underpinning our Union, which match those of the Olympic movement”.

They wrote that the flag could stand as a “symbol of peaceful coexistence, tolerance and solidarity”.

They added: “We will fully support you in any way you see appropriate in introducing this special and historical gesture.”

They added that the gesture could “serve as a powerful representation of how unity and peace must be celebrated through this event, fundamental as they are to both the European and Olympic spirit”.

“We believe that, as two organisations united by these shared values, the European Union and the International Olympic Committee are uniquely positioned to promote peace and understanding at a time when the world needs it most”, Mr Jansa and Mr Schinas wrote.

The Olympic Games are scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo, Japan.

It is not the first time the EU has made such a demand.

In 2004, then European Commission President Romano Prodi called for athletes from EU member states to showcase the EU flag as well as their own national flag during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

The idea was praised by France’s Europe Affairs Minister Clement Beaune.

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He wrote: “Full support, dear Schinas.

“A beautiful symbol, in addition to our national flags.”

With just four days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo, 68 percent of respondents in an Asahi newspaper poll expressed doubt about the ability of Olympic organisers to control coronavirus infections, with 55 percent saying they were opposed to the Games going ahead.

Three-quarters of the 1,444 people in the telephone survey said they agreed with a decision to ban spectators from events.

As COVID-19 cases rise in Tokyo, which is under a fourth state of emergency, public concern has grown that hosting an event with tens of thousands of overseas athletes, officials and journalists could accelerate infection rates in Japan’s capital and introduce variants that are more infectious or deadlier.

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International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said he hopes the Japanese public will warm to the Games once competition begins and as Japanese athletes begin winning medals.

“We will continue to co-operate and work closely with organisers such as Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020, and the IOC to ensure we have a safe and secure environment for the Games,” government spokesperson, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said at a regular briefing.

Games officials on Sunday reported the first COVID-19 case among competitors in the athletes’ village in Tokyo where 11,000 athletes are expected to stay during the Games.

Since July 2, Tokyo 2020 organisers have reported 58 positive cases among athletes, officials and journalists.

Any major outbreak in the village could wreak havoc on competitions because those either infected or isolating would not be able to compete.

Olympic officials and individual event organisers have contingency plans to deal with infections among athletes.

A Tokyo 2020 spokesperson said the village was a safe place to stay, adding the infection rate among athletes and other Games-related people visiting Japan was nearly 0.1 pct.

On Sunday six British track and field athletes along with two staff members were forced to isolate after someone on their flight to Japan tested positive for COVID-19.

“Many athletes may have parties or ceremonies before they go to Tokyo where there may be cheering or greeting. So they may also have a risk to get infected in their own countries,” said Koji Wada, a professor at Tokyo’s International University of Health and Welfare and an adviser on the government’s coronavirus response.

The latest surge in cases in Tokyo comes after four earlier waves, the deadliest of which was in January.

New COVID-19 cases in Tokyo reached 1,410 on Saturday, the most since the start of the year, with new infections exceeding 1,000 for five straight days.

Most of those new cases are among younger people, as Japan has succeeded in getting most of its vulnerable elderly population vaccinated with at least one shot, although only 32 percent of the overall population has so far received one.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Coco Gauff out of Tokyo Olympics after positive COVID test

Gauff, 17, made the announcement on social media Sunday.

Editor’s Note: The video above is from July 2019.

American tennis star Coco Gauff will not be participating in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, after testing positive for COVID-19, the 17-year-old confirmed on social media Sunday.

“I am so disappointed to share the news that I have tested positive for COVID and won’t be able to play in the Olympic Games in Tokyo,” Gauff said in an image shared on Twitter and Instagram. She goes on to add, “I want to wish Team USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family.”

Gauff was set to make her Team USA debut in Tokyo, alongside Jennifer Brady, Jessica Pegula and Alison Riske for women’s singles.

Gauff was also expected to team up with Nicole Melichar in the women’s doubles competition. According to NBC Sports, Gauff would have been the youngest tennis player in the Olympics since 2000. In her social media post, Gauff said she hopes she’ll have “many more chances” to represent Team USA in the future. So far there’s been no word on who might replace Gauff.

In a statement on Twitter Sunday, the USTA said, “The entire USA Tennis Olympic contingent is heartbroken for Coco.”

Gauff is currently ranked 25th in women’s singles by the Women’s Tennis Association. Her last match was a loss in the Round of 16 at Wimbledon where she fell to 22-ranked Angelique Kerber of Germany.

The Tokyo Games are scheduled to start their first events Wednesday, while the country of Japan is under a state of emergency because of the rising number of coronavirus cases. Earlier in the weekend, two South African soccer players  became the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19. A South African video analyst has tested positive as well.

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

Tokyo Olympics crisis: First competitors contract COVID-19 as pressure mounts on Japan PM

Two athletes from the same country and competing in the same sport staying in the village in the Harumi waterfront district tested positive for the virus, organisers said without offering additional details. Organisers today reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics, including a third athlete not staying in the village, down from 15 new cases a day earlier.

South Africa also reported three positive cases in its soccer squad – two players and an analyst.

It was not immediately clear if those cases were identified as part of the same testing programme.

An International Olympic Committee member from South Korea tested positive for the coronavirus on landing in Tokyo.

Ryu Seung-min, a former Olympic athlete, is double-jabbed, underlining the infection risk even from vaccinated attendees.

And on Friday it was announced a Nigerian delegate to the Olympics had become the first visitor to be admitted to hospital with COVID-19, broadcaster TV Asahi said on Friday.

The new infections are testing the layered testing regime designed to ensure Covid cases are quickly caught and isolated. Proponents argue that the growing number of cases underscores the strength of the testing system.

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Mr Suga has said Japan would take thorough steps to strengthen border controls against the coronavirus.

Public support for his cabinet has slid to 35.9 percent, a Kyodo poll showed on Sunday, the lowest since he replaced Shinzo Abe as the country’s leader in September.

A mere 29.4 percent think the fourth state of emergency, which began last Monday, is effective, according to the poll.

The rainy season ended in Tokyo on Friday, bringing blue skies and intense heat, another potential problem for organisers.

The burden on participants has been increased by virus countermeasures like masking.

David Hughes, chief medical officer at the Australian Olympic Committee, said: “While we have been dealing with Covid matters, we haven’t taken our focus off the heat.”

Officials point to heat countermeasures including the distribution of drinks and salt tablets and the use of misting towers and cooling vests.

The delayed Olympics was intended to showcase a modern, diverse Japan at a time of rising regional rivalries – but the pandemic has left the country hosting a pared-down event.

Athletes continue to question the compromises organisers have made, with Maya Yoshida, captain of Japan’s soccer team, calling for the decision to hold the Games behind closed doors to be reconsidered.

Postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer Olympics have little public support in Japan amid widespread fears about a further spread of the coronavirus.

Critics on Thursday submitted a petition against the Games that has garnered more than 450,000 signatures this month.

Organisers have imposed Olympics “bubbles” to prevent further transmissions of COVID-19, but medical experts are worried they might not be sufficiently tight.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: World Feed

Peaty: ‘No right answer’ on pandemic Olympics

100m breaststroke gold medallist Adam Peaty defends his Olympic title at Tokyo 2020; Peaty on Games amid pandemic: “You have to think about the normal people who live but you have got to have the realisation and respect the athletes who have trained [for] five years, every single day”

Last Updated: 17/07/21 11:23pm

Adam Peaty defends his 100m breaststroke title at Tokyo 2020

Adam Peaty defends his 100m breaststroke title at Tokyo 2020

Reigning 100m breaststroke champion Adam Peaty said there was no “right answer” as to whether the Tokyo Olympics should be going ahead in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Games were pushed back a year owing to Covid-19 and the virus has meant a number of curbs are in place for the delayed event – with crowds largely excluded.

Tokyo is under a state of emergency which will run throughout the Games with the torch relay also impacted by virus concerns.

Peaty said: “Obviously, you have got to think about the normal people who do live here.

“But on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have got to have the realisation and respect the athletes who have trained [for] five years, every single day getting up at 5am, and going to bed at 10.30pm with a screaming baby.

“They commit their whole lives to this moment, for this three-week, four-week-long event.

Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, Adam Peaty has set himself an ambitious target of winning three gold medals and breaking a world record at the Tokyo Olympics

Sky Sports 0:58
Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, Adam Peaty has set himself an ambitious target of winning three gold medals and breaking a world record at the Tokyo Olympics

Olympic 100m breaststroke champion, Adam Peaty has set himself an ambitious target of winning three gold medals and breaking a world record at the Tokyo Olympics

“You are never going to get the right answer. You have got to look at it in a way that if you sat everyone around the table, everyone’s going to have an opinion.

“For me, I think, obviously, I am biased because I want them to happen because I want to race, but I kind of feel for the home nation who do not want these Games to happen, or you know, people back home who do not want these Games to happen.

“You have seen it at the Euros where you see a lot of people together and it could be a super spreader [event], we just don’t know.

“And for me, I am double vaccinated, and I have taken every single measure to make sure that I am not going to spread it to anyone else if I did have it.

“That’s all I can do. And some athletes are coming out here without any vaccinations and you have got to ask the same question to them.

“So it’s not an easy answer, unfortunately.”

Defending Olympic title ‘not a distraction’

Peaty won the 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Games in Rio

Peaty won the 100m breaststroke at the 2016 Games in Rio

Peaty says the prospect of becoming the first Team GB swimmer to defend an Olympic title is “not a distraction”.

The 26-year-old took gold in the 100m breaststroke in Rio, and broke his own world record en route to another at the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, in 2019.

The Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth champion has set the 15 fastest 100m breaststroke times in history, his quickest of 56.88 being a second faster than Holland’s Arno Kamminga, who set 57.9 at the Dutch National trials in May.

Ahead of the Games, which begin on Friday, Peaty said the chance of another world record was “within reach, if I get my preparation right”.

He said: “Going into these Games next week, no British swimmer has ever defended an Olympic title.

“I think that is obviously in the back of my mind that I want to do that.

“But it’s not a distraction and obviously, as every Olympics, I want to inspire as many people as they come back home, and especially this year, when people have been through such a rough time that we can show that just because we have been through that doesn’t mean that we have to stand still, or you know, retreat, or kind of take a step backwards.

“We can always, you know, go through that adversity with a bit of British humour and say, ‘You know what? Let’s have this one.'”

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This post originally posted here SkySports | News

Germany Olympics team walk off after alleged racist abuse

Germany’s men’s Olympics football team left the pitch five minutes before the end of a warm-up match against Honduras after one of their players was allegedly racially abused.

The team faced Honduras in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, which begin next week.

The teams were tied at 1-1, with Germany equalising thanks to a goal from Felix Uduokhai.

The players walked off the field with five minutes left to play, with the team’s Twitter account claiming that the players decided to leave because defender Jordan Torunarigha had been racially insulted.

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How to watch the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony

Without any fans, next week’s Olympic Opening Ceremony will probably look a little different this year.

WASHINGTON — The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony will kick off the international sporting competition on Friday, July 23. 

This year’s Olympic Summer Games, already postponed a year because of the pandemic, will be held without fans cheering from the stands after a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo in an effort to fight a surge in COVID-19 cases. 

Here is everything you need to know about the opening ceremony and how you can watch it live, on TV and online:

When is the Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony?

The Tokyo Olympics Opening Ceremony will take place on Friday, July 23. It will begin at 8 p.m. local time in Japan, which is 7 a.m. ET/4 a.m. PT.

Time difference between US and Tokyo

Tokyo, Japan, is 13 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States.

How to stream the opening ceremony online 

NBC Olympics will be providing exclusive coverage of the games from start to finish. NBC said the event can be live-streamed from the NBC Sports app and on NBCOlympics.com.

Click here for a live stream of the event.

How to watch the opening ceremony on TV

The Tokyo Opening Ceremony will also be broadcast live on NBC across all time zones, with coverage starting at 6:55 a.m. ET/3:55 a.m. PT.

It’s the first time ever that NBC has aired a live morning broadcast of an Opening Ceremony.

Meanwhile, NBC’s primetime broadcast of the Opening Ceremony will kick off Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT on TV, as well as on the NBC Sports app and NBCOlympics.com.

NBC’s primetime broadcast will then be replayed overnight. 

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Opening Ceremony theme

The Toyko Olympics said the theme for the Opening Ceremony is “United by Emotion.” Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the goal of the event is to bring everyone together, despite physically being apart.

“In the Opening Ceremony, we will aspire to reaffirm the role of sport and the value of the Olympic Games, to express our gratitude and admiration for the efforts we all made together over the past year, and also to bring a sense of hope for the future,” the Toyko Olympics said in a statement.

The Closing Ceremony theme is “Worlds we Share.”

Where is the Opening Ceremony?

The ceremony will take place at Japan’s National Stadium in Tokyo.

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports

When does Team USA march during Tokyo Olympics

Tradition dictates the opening ceremony Parade of Nations is in alphabetical order, according to the language of the host country.

WASHINGTON — After being postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics will finally take place July 23 through August 8.

The opening ceremony is the first prominent celebration of the competition, but this year it will likely look and sound slightly different without fans. The order of nations has also been changed slightly, so you may need to wait a bit longer than normal for Team USA’s appearance. 

Tokyo has issued an emergency order that lasts beyond the game, barring any fans — even athletes’ families — from attending. A reduced number of Olympic officials and VIPs, including first lady Jill Biden, will be in attendance. 

The opening ceremony will still include performances, pageantry and the Parade of Nations.

For Tokyo, the order of when athletes parade behind their nation’s flag-bearers will be slightly different this year, according to NBC Sports.

The International Olympic Committee says tradition dictates that the parade is in alphabetical order, according to the language of the host country, with the exception of Greece leading the parade and the host country bringing up the rear. Kyodo News in Japan reported in October that the Tokyo Games organizing committee will determine the marching order based on the Japanese-language names and Japan’s “fifty-sound” phonetic order.

NBC Sports reported that Greece, which traditionally marches first, will be followed by the Refugee Olympic Team. When the Refugee Team was first introduced in the 2016 Rio Olympics, they marched second to last. So, following the Refugee Team, all nations will follow in alphabetical order, with a few other key exceptions.

When does Team USA march during the opening ceremony?

Also new this year, future Olympic host nations will march at the end of the parade right before the host country.

So, the United States will be the third to last country in the Tokyo Olympics Parade of Nations, according to NBC Sports, because the 2028 Summer Games will be held in Los Angeles.

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France, which is hosting the 2024 Olympics, will be second to last, just before host nation Japan.

There will be 206 National Olympic Committees and the IOC Refugee Olympic Team competing in the Tokyo Olympics, according to the games committee. In total, 11,090 athletes will be competing.

This year, the theme for the opening ceremony is “United by Emotion,” according to Tokyo Olympics organizers. It will be designed to bring “fresh hope and encouragement around the world.”

“In the Opening Ceremony, we will aspire to reaffirm the role of sport and the value of the Olympic Games, to express our gratitude and admiration for the efforts we all made together over the past year, and also to bring a sense of hope for the future,” the Tokyo Olympics said in a statement.

Adding: “We hope it will be an experience that conveys how we all have the ability to celebrate differences, to empathise, and to live side by side with compassion for one another.”

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This post originally posted here CBS8 – Sports