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IOC President Thomas Bach speaks Nov. 17 at Tokyo's New National Stadium, the main Olympics venue. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

It seems hard to believe that 238 days from now — on July 23 — the Summer Olympics will open in Tokyo. But that's still the plan, after the games were postponed a year because of the pandemic.

Driving the news: The Tokyo organizing committee on Friday announced a series of 18 test events (some for operations), to begin in March and run into May, AP reports.

Why it matters: Games officials say a full complement of 11,000 athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes will be allowed into Japan, along with tens of thousands of judges, VIPs, sponsors, media and broadcasters.

At least four of the test events will involve athletes from abroad, including tests in swimming, gymnastics, diving and volleyball.

  • Hidemasa Nakamura, the games delivery officer, said none of the test events will allow fans from abroad, although some events will permit an unspecified number of fans from Japan.

IOC President Thomas Bach said athletes won't be required to take a vaccine. He said young Olympic athletes were not a priority ahead of millions of health care workers, the elderly and other vulnerable populations.

  • The games plan social distancing, masks and near-quarantine conditions in the Athletes Village.

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Dec 22, 2020 - Technology

Video games offered a lifeline in 2020

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Video games have long provided players with a chance to escape reality, but in 2020, they took on much larger roles, serving as exercise companions and social gathering places — filling urgent needs in this coronavirus-altered year.

Why it matters: 2020's transformations will likely outlast the pandemic. While some people who boosted their video game use this year will scale back, others will keep gaming in a central place in their lives.

1 hour ago - Science

COVID time warp

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The start of the COVID-19 pandemic seems like a lifetime ago to some, and just yesterday to others. Scientists are beginning to unpack the way people processed the passage of time amidst the stress, uncertainty and isolation of the 1 year, 8 months and 21 days since WHO declared a pandemic.

Why it matters: The pandemic's global effects on how people experience time could provide new insights into the brain's ability to perceive and predict time — a fundamental feature of life.

Mitt Romney calls Ray Dalio's China investments a "sad moral lapse"

Sen. Mitt Romney walks to a Senate Republican caucus meeting at the Capitol on Oct. 7. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) on Thursday criticized billionaire Ray Dalio's investments in China, writing in a tweet that "his feigned ignorance of China's horrific abuses and rationalization of complicit investments there is a sad moral lapse."

Driving the news: Romney's comments come after Dalio's firm, Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world, raised $1.3 billion in November for a new private fund in China, Bloomberg reports.