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The main entrance of the Tokyo 2020 Main Press Center on July 01, 2021. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

Convening 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries for the Tokyo Olympics is proving to be a logistical nightmare, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: The pandemic has upended flight schedules, closed international borders and COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements are posing enormous challenges for athletes traveling to the games.

Driving the news: The Olympic team from Fiji is traveling to the games on a plane that typically transports chilled seafood like tuna and mahi mahi, per Bloomberg.

  • "Fiji Airways isn’t doing any commercial flights at the current time so we’re going up on a cargo run," Lorraine Mar, head of the Fiji Association of Sports and National Olympic Committee, said.
  • Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, the favorite for the women's 100 meters race, is making a more than 8,000-mile journey to Tokyo, traveling from Kingston to Miami, then on to London to catch a connecting flight bound for Tokyo.
  • The Brazilian delegation — a group of almost 300 athletes — had to snag last-minute flights on Deutsche Lufthansa AG after its original carrier, Air Canada, canceled flights that would have taken the team via Toronto.

Of note: Athletes' training schedules are also out of whack due to the pandemic, and many athletes have not been able to train in locations they would have normally otherwise.

  • "We normally have at least 90 days to get to know the conditions, and now we’ll have only eight," Argentine sailor Santiago Lange told Bloomberg. "Those eight days for our particular sport are not enough."

The bottom line: "We usually think of the race," Selemon Barega, an Ethiopian long-distance runner who competes primarily in the 5,000 meters, said. "But now the fear of the virus is also running in our minds."

Go deeper: Tokyo Olympics set to begin in a month

Go deeper

Third Olympian tests positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo

A man wearing a face mask walks past Olympics branding outside of the New National Stadium, the main stadium for the Tokyo Olympics, on June 03 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

One of Serbia’s five-member rowing team tested positive for COVID-19 upon arrival in Japan, an official said Sunday. This is the third visiting Olympian to test positive for the virus ahead of the games, which are set to begin later this month.

Why it matters: Japan's government has faced heavy criticism for deciding to host the Olympic Games in spite of rising cases.

2 hours ago - World

Biden: U.S. combat mission in Iraq will end this year

Biden returning to the White House on July 25. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

The United States' combat mission against the Islamic State in Iraq will be completed "by the end of the year," President Biden said Monday prior to a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Why it matters: Biden is close to shifting the U.S. military mission in Iraq to a fully advisory role more than 18 years after combat troops were sent to the country under the former President George W. Bush.

How extreme weather feeds inflation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

This summer's extreme weather is having ripple effects that could raise food prices in the U.S. and disrupt diets around the world.

Why it matters: Climate scientists and food supply experts, like those at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in Rome, have long warned about the impact of human-caused global warming on prices, food shortages and hunger.