The 2021 Tokyo Olympics Ban International Spectators

The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will ban international spectators due to COVID-19 concerns.

On Saturday (March 20), President of the Tokyo Committee Seiko Hashimoto made the big announcement during a press conference. You’ll recall that the games were originally scheduled for July 2020 but were delayed due to the pandemic.

“The Tokyo 2020 Games will be completely different from the past, but the essence remains the same,” Hashimoto said in a press release. “Athletes will put everything on the line and inspire people with their outstanding performances.”

The Olympic Committee seemingly plans to offer some sort of virtual experience to fans. “We are currently working on specific plans to share support remotely from around the world and help bring people together in ways suited to our current times,” Hashimoto added.

According to The New York Times, 600,000 tickets to Olympic events have been sold to international fans in addition to 30,000 tickets purchased for the Paralympic Games. Meanwhile, international athletes competing in the games will be fully vaccinated prior to their arrival in Japan.

If you are an international traveler and purchased a ticket to the upcoming games, the organizing committee will refund your ticket price at the point of purchase. “Under these circumstances, ticketholders from overseas will soon be informed of the refund mechanism,” the Olympic Committee said in a statement. It is unknown how tickets bought from third-party sellers will be handled.

The big news follows Tokyo Olympic Games Creative Director Hiroshi Sasaki’s resignation earlier this week. It was reported that he previously suggested to the Olympic planning staff during “brainstorming exchanges” that Japanese comedian and fashion icon Naomi Watanabe could perform at the event as the “Olympig.”

Despite the recent scandal, the upcoming Olympics marks a historic moment for gender equality. The 2021 Tokyo Olympics will be the first gender-balanced games in history with almost 49% of competing athletes being women.

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