Just call it. Call it off for the good of the world and for the integrity of the Olympics themselves.
The 2020/2021 games in Tokyo have been cursed from the get-go, with COVID-19 pandemic undulations syncing up with plans and preparations in an infuriatingly consistent pattern.
Two steps forward, 400m back, it seems like.
And now, with the virus taking out some of the most promising athletes in the competition, there is no way in which the IOC can even claim that this is an exhibition of the world’s best. Instead, the 2021 games will be an asterisk-riddled fiasco in which the athletes to beat were sidelined either by a virus, or by antiquated and counterproductive policies regarding the use of medicinal plants.
Whoever takes home the gold will know, deep in their hearts, that the competition was not a full accounting of the world’s talent, and that they were just lucky to have tested negative on race day.
And perhaps that is why Toyota is bowing out of their Olympic advertising deals.
Toyota won’t be airing any Olympic-themed advertisements on Japanese television during the Tokyo Games despite being one of the IOC’s top corporate sponsors.
The extraordinary decision by the country’s top automaker underlines how polarizing the Games have become in Japan as COVID-19 infections rise ahead of Friday’s opening ceremony.
“There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to be understood,” Toyota Chief Communications Officer Jun Nagata told reporters Monday.
Chief Executive Akio Toyoda, the company founder’s grandson, will be skipping the opening ceremony. That’s despite about 200 athletes taking part in the Olympics and Paralympics who are affiliated with Toyota, including swimmer Takeshi Kawamoto and softball player Miu Goto.
The company stated that those athletes would still have Toyota’s full support, however.
It’s too bad the IOC doesn’t have the same attitude.