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

All 2021 Olympics stories

21 hours ago - World

Olympic public viewing sites in Tokyo canceled, governor says

Photo: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike on Saturday said that all public viewing during this summer's Olympics will be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Japan Times reports.

The state of play: After meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Koike told reporters that the locations where viewings were scheduled will instead be used as vaccination sites.

Jun 17, 2021 - Sports

Naomi Osaka withdraws from Wimbledon, will play in Olympics

Photo: Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images

Tennis star Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from Wimbledon, but will still compete at the Tokyo Olympics, her agent said Thursday, per AP.

Why it matters: Wimbledon is the third tournament Osaka, 23, has withdrawn from in recent weeks. In May, Osaka withdrew from the French Open after the first round for a mental health break. Osaka also pulled out of next week's Berlin WTA 5000 tournament, per ESPN.

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Jun 14, 2021 - Sports

Olympic Committee selects 29-member refugee team

Kimia Alizadeh after winning bronze in Rio. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The refugee team for the Tokyo Olympics will feature 29 athletes — up from the 10 who competed on the inaugural team at the 2016 Rio Games.

Details: The IOC selected the team from a pool of 56 athletes, all of whom received scholarships to train after fleeing their home countries.

Jun 10, 2021 - Sports

Tokyo Olympics could allow domestic spectators as COVID cases plummet

Data: CSSE Johns Hopkins University; Chart: Axios Visuals

As cases continue dropping in Japan, officials are considering allowing domestic spectators into next month's Olympics.

Why it matters: Just over a month ago, Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto said she was prepared to hold the Games in front of empty stadiums, reports the Asahi Shimbun.

Jun 3, 2021 - Sports

10,000 Tokyo Olympics volunteers quit before games begin next month

The New National Stadium in Tokyo, Japan on June 3. Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

10,000 volunteers working to organize the Tokyo Olympics next month have quit, Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, told reporters Wednesday, the according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: The games have been under pressure to cancel amid low vaccination rates and a surge of active COVID-19 cases in Japan. Scientists have warned that "canceling the games may be the safest option" and a recent poll by Japan's Asahi Shimbun newspaper found 83% of voters wanted the games to be postponed or canceled.

May 29, 2021 - Sports

Japan extends coronavirus state of emergency weeks before Summer Olympics

People wearing face masks while crossing a street in Tokyo on May 28. Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

Japan on Friday extended a state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas of the country through at least June 20 in response to rising coronavirus cases, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The country is set to host the 2020 Summer Olympics in July, though many, including doctors associations, scientists and high-profile business executives, have called for the games to be canceled to avoid a larger outbreak.

May 26, 2021 - Health

Scientists: Canceling Tokyo Olympics "may be the safest option"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With less than two months until the Tokyo Olympics' opening ceremony, scientists are warning that "canceling the games may be the safest option," according to a paper published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Why it matters: As Japan anticipates 20,000 athletes and support staff from 200 different countries, the country remains in a state of emergency with nearly 70,000 active cases and only 5% of the population vaccinated, the lowest rate within OECD countries.

May 24, 2021 - Sports

Simone Biles becomes first woman to land Yurchenko double pike in competition

Photo: Emilee Chinn via Getty Images

Defending world champion gymnast Simone Biles became the first woman in history to land the Yurchenko double pike in a competition, a move historically performed only by men.

Driving the news: At the GK U.S. Classic in Indianapolis, Biles executed the move with near perfection: first a roundoff onto the springboard, then a back handspring onto the vaulting table, followed by a spiked double backflip into the air and to the floor.

May 21, 2021 - Sports

IOC VP says Tokyo Olympics will begin even under state of emergency

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Tokyo Olympics will begin in just over two months even if the city or other parts of Japan are under a COVID-19 state of emergency, International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates said during a news conference Friday, according to AP.

Why it matters: The Games have already been postponed once, and Japan's latest coronavirus surge has pushed parts of the country's health system to a breaking point.

May 19, 2021 - Sports

Japan's 11th hour COVID Olympics nightmare

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

With just 65 days until the Olympics, Japan's COVID-19 infection and vaccination rates are providing legitimate cause for concern.

Why it matters: The country's seven-day average of new cases surpassed 6,000 for five straight days last week, just barely trailing its worst surge to date, back in January.

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