2021 Olympics

The big picture

The Tokyo Olympics look set to go ahead with fans

The IOC's president is "very confident" about the prospect.

Nov 18, 2020 - Sports
Tokyo Olympics postponement puts athletes' livelihoods at risk

With seasons and events canceled, they're unable to earn appearance fees, prize money and performance bonuses.

Jun 19, 2020 - Sports
U.S. Olympians brace for $200 million cash crunch

The media rights fees likely won't come until next year.

Apr 9, 2020 - Sports
Athletes who qualified for Tokyo Olympics to keep their spots in 2021

57% of the total athlete quota spots have already been assigned, per the International Olympic Committee.

Apr 7, 2020 - Sports

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The growing nexus between the Olympics and authoritarian states

Data: Council on Foreign Relations; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

The cost of hosting the Olympics has skyrocketed in recent decades, outpacing revenues from visitors and saddling cities with heavy maintenance burdens. As a result, residents of potential host cities have increasingly resisted their government's bids to host the games.

Why it matters: Authoritarian countries eager for global approbation can ignore local opposition, making hosting the Olympics increasingly the terrain of autocratic regimes.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jan 22, 2021 - Sports

2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

10 months ago, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed. Now, less than six months ahead of their new start date, the dreaded word is being murmured: "canceled."

Driving the news: The Japanese government has privately concluded that the Games will have to be called off, The Times reports (subscription), citing an unnamed senior government source.

U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee to permit athlete participation in racial justice protests

Photo: Tami Chappell/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee on Thursday said it will no longer prohibit athletes from "peacefully and respectfully demonstrating in support of racial and social justice for all human beings."

Why it matters: The committee in January said that "[n]o kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas." Athletes were still allowed to demonstrate or protest at press conferences, in interviews, at team meetings, and on digital and traditional media platforms.

Dec 3, 2020 - Sports

Tokyo Olympics weighs health tracking app in order to allow fan attendance

Photo: Ahmet Furkan Mercan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Tokyo Olympic officials have discussed using a health tracking app as a measure that could allow fans from abroad to attend the Games next summer, AP reports.

The big picture: The cost of these Games, already bloated compared to the original estimate from 2013's successful bid, has reportedly increased by ~$2-3 billion due to the one-year delay.

Sep 9, 2020 - Sports

Human rights groups call on IOC to revoke 2022 Beijing Olympics

A sign for Beijing's bid for the Winter Olympics logo. Photo: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

More than 160 human rights groups called on the International Olympic Committee to revoke China's award of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games over the country's human rights abuses, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The letter represents "the largest coordinated effort" yet against staging the Beijing games, coming amid heightened scrutiny of China's mass detention and repression of Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities, according to Reuters.

Sep 8, 2020 - Sports

Netflix documentary "Rising Phoenix" explores heroes of the Paralympics

Great Britain's Jonnie Peacock celebrates winning gold in the men's 100m at the 2012 Paralympics in London. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images

The 16th Summer Paralympics would have ended this weekend in Tokyo, but the pandemic had other ideas.

Why it matters: The Paralympics is the one of the biggest sporting events on Earth, and its recent surge in popularity has helped change how the world views disabilities — and human potential.

Jul 22, 2020 - Sports

Organizers say Tokyo Olympics not possible "if current situation continues"

Olympic rings displayed outside the National Stadium. Photo: Behrouz Mehri/AFP via Getty Images

Yoshiro Mori, president of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics, said Wednesday that the summer games rescheduled for next July won't be possible if the coronavirus pandemic continues in its current state, AP reports.

The state of play: The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have expressed confidence that the games will take place, but said that another delay would not be possible and that the Olympics would instead be canceled.

Jun 18, 2020 - Sports

Christian Coleman, the world's 100-meter champ, suspended for missed drug tests

Christian Coleman at the IAAF World Indoor Championships. Photo: Stephen Pond/Getty Images for IAAF

American sprinter Christian Coleman, the world's 100 meter champion and a favorite to win gold next summer in Tokyo, has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for anti-doping violations.

Worth noting: Coleman has never failed a single drug test in his career; rather, these violations pertain to "whereabouts failures," which means he either missed a test or neglected to file the proper paperwork with the AIU.

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