Countdown begins: One month to Olympics

(Agence France-Presse) - June 23, 2021 - 12:00am

TOKYO – The Tokyo Olympics have weathered a historic postponement, an unprecedented ban on overseas fans and persistent domestic opposition, but with one month to go, the finish line is finally in sight.

The journey to this year’s Games has involved a long list of complications that sometimes threatened to make them the first modern Olympics cancelled in peacetime.

Now, just four weeks remain until the opening ceremony on July 23, and while the mood is far from jubilant, organizers might just have cause to celebrate.

The first Olympic teams are already in Japan, along with key officials and some overseas media. And polls suggest long-standing public opposition to the Games may be weakening as D-day approaches.

“We are in the full delivery phase,” International Olympic Committee chief Thomas Bach said on Monday.

“Athletes are beginning to arrive in Tokyo, ready to make their Olympic dreams become a reality.”

It has been an uphill battle since the unprecedented decision to postpone the Games in March 2020, as the scale of the pandemic started to emerge.

Back then, there was cause to hope the pandemic might be over before the opening ceremony came around – the Games would be “proof of mankind’s victory over the virus,” Japanese officials said.

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