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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

Updated Sep 9, 2021 - World

Around 200 foreigners leave Afghanistan on commercial flight to Qatar

A Qatar Airways aircraft taking off from the airport in Kabul on Sept. 9. Photo: Wakil Kohsar/AFP via Getty Images

Around 200 foreigners, including several Americans, left Afghanistan Thursday on a flight from Kabul to Doha, Qatar, according to the AP and the Washington Post.

Why it matters: The Qatar Airways flight was the first mass evacuation of Americans, green card holders and people of other nationalities since the U.S. airlift operation concluded at the end of August.

Mike Allen, author of AM
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly on Monday was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating an anti-sex trafficking law, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded R. Kelly's career, including a child sexual abuse image case in 2008 where he was acquitted. Multiple other victims have come forward to speak about the abuse in recent years.