Can Tokyo 2020 Bring The World Together Safely?

In 2016, my wife and I visited Tokyo. The Rio Olympic Games wrapped up a few months prior, and Tokyo was awash in Tokyo 2020 signage. Many of the venues were already under construction, and the city was excited to host the games.

I’ve always loved the Olympics. While I don’t understand gymnastics, I’m an armchair connoisseur of track and field events once the torch ignites. Plus, give me ALL the obscure sports. Handball? I’m in. Curling? Not a summer sport, but it is my favorite.

Four years later, Tokyo 2020 was postponed due to the pandemic. Here we are, a few days away from the rescheduled Olympic Games and things are different. Today, most of Japan feels the games are not safe to host. Athletes from all over the world, many who are not (or refuse to be) vaccinated, are converging in one spot. To try and mitigate risk, Japan is banning all spectators. Still, flip to super-spreader-event in the dictionary, and you get Tokyo 2020. And let’s not forget the problematic issues surrounding natural hair swim caps, drug testing, and gymnastic rules.

I want to cheer for the athletes, and I want to celebrate the pageantry. But, is it possible? In addition to the athletes, many people dedicated their lives to creating this Olympiad. Their work deserves an audience. But at what cost?

Other major sporting events, like Euro 2020 and Wimbledon, went off without any major issues. There is hope everything will happen smoothly. And I want it to go smoothly.

When we create something, be it something small like this newsletter or something major like the Olympic Games, we must hope it will succeed. We hope people will connect with, grow from, and enjoy what we spent time building. That is our role as creators.

While some creators keep their work hidden, most of us wouldn’t create if we didn’t want people to experience our work. As I write this, I hope my words bring a moment of encouragement. I can only imagine what the Olympic creators hope the world experiences on Friday. Whatever it is, we must all hope for its success.

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