The Olympic Games start later this week, and it is hard to get excited about them. They were postponed because of the pandemic last year, and the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government have been determined that they go ahead this year.
Hosting the Olympics is a costly affair, and Japan has spent over $25 billion already. However, even without the fans, it will still be an incredibly lucrative event. Global broadcast rights make up roughly 73 per cent of the income generated from the Games. Sponsorship makes up almost another 20 per cent.
The Japanese government is keen to hold the Olympics for the prestige and to celebrate Japan’s virtues and strengths. It wants to reprise the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games glory and lift national and global spirits that have plummeted during the pandemic.
More than 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries compete at the Games, and they have all had to struggle to get there. During an Olympic year, other competitions function as training and help the athletes build up the intensity to compete. With a disrupted preparation, many athletes will not be at their peak and won’t be able to perform at their best.
It all starts in three days. I wish them luck, but I can’t help but feel it will not go smoothly.