TOKYO — The Tokyo Summer Olympics are here.
The start of the largest event in sports after a year postponement is a sign of hope for many. But critics view holding the Games during pandemic times as an unacceptable risk to the world’s top athletes and the Japanese people.
For months, questions have persisted about whether these Olympics, which are deeply unpopular in Japan, will actually happen.
Now we know the answer is (almost surely) yes. We’re just a few hours away from the first event.
Despite the criticism and the extreme logistical challenges of putting on the Games, thousands of athletes, journalists and officials have streamed into Japan.
The strict safety protocols haven’t been able to stop positive coronavirus cases from surfacing in the Olympic bubble, as Japanese officials try to keep them contained and away from a largely unvaccinated population. In Tokyo, after much back and forth, organizers decided to hold the events without any spectators in the stands.
Against great odds, the world’s top athletes are about to take the spotlight. Here are some key things to know about the first half of the Games.