During the ongoing corona pandemic, the next major sporting event of the year will take place in Tokyo from July 23 to August 8: the Summer Olympics. More than 11,000 athletes from all over the world compete against each other at the competitions in Tokyo. In such a situation, with an infectious pathogen such as Sars-CoV-2, there is a risk for the Olympics that the virus will also spread in the Olympic village. Due to the corona pandemic, no spectators will be admitted. Nevertheless, more than a hundred corona cases have already been reported at the Olympics.
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Emergency in Tokyo during the games
The corona situation in Japan is tense: an emergency was declared for the Olympic city of Tokyo before the tournament due to the increasing number of infections, which will apply until the end of August. The vaccination rate in the Asian island state is well below the level in the European Union.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the athletes a vaccination offer with a Chinese corona vaccine before the Olympics. However, this is not permitted in the EU or other countries around the world – which is why the offer met with little interest.
The IOC’s amended playbook, which was sent to all participants for signature, was also criticized. In it, the athletes should declare that they are ready to take part in the Olympics “at their own risk and responsibility”. This includes serious physical injuries or deaths, also in connection with Corona. This is how the IOC wants to protect itself from claims for damages. It has already been shown that not all athletes at the Olympics are protected from corona infection. The German pharmacologist Fritz Sörgel criticized: Anyone who claims that “the Olympic Games are very safe is lying to the people”.
August 2: 17 more corona cases in the Olympic environment
At the start of the week, the Organizing Committee of the Summer Olympics reported 17 new corona infections. This time, there are no athletes among the new corona cases in the Olympic environment. A total of 276 people have been infected with corona since July 1 at the Olympics, including 24 athletes. An Olympic participant from the USA caused criticism: the 22-year-old swimmer Michael Andrew gave interviews without a mandatory protective mask and also refused to be vaccinated against Covid-19. The US Olympic Committee is therefore conducting an examination and denouncing Andrews’ violations of the corona rules in Tokyo as “unacceptable”.
August 1: 18 new corona infections at the Olympics
New corona infections were also registered at the Summer Olympics on Sunday: 18 new corona cases were reported on Sunday. This time an athlete from the Olympic Village was also affected. The number of corona cases at the Olympics has increased to 259 since July 1st. A total of 24 athletes have been infected with the corona virus so far. A total of 12,341 new corona cases were reported in Japan for Saturday. This means that the number of new infections was over 10,000 for three days in a row. The Olympic city of Tokyo registered 4,058 cases, more than ever in the pandemic.
July 31: 21 more corona infections at the Olympics
New corona infections were also reported at the Summer Olympics on the weekend: 21 new corona cases were announced on Saturday. This time there are no athletes among the infected. The number of corona cases at the Olympics since July 1 has risen to 241. The only infected German, professional cyclist Simon Geschke, is allowed to travel home late on Sunday after a quarantine and two negative corona tests. According to media reports, two Georgian judoka were excluded from the summer games because they had left the Olympic village for a city tour and thus violated the tournament’s corona rules. In Tokyo, the authorities reported more than 4,000 new infections within one day for the first time on Saturday.
July 30: 27 new infections at the Olympics – new high
The corona numbers continue to rise. With 27 positive cases around the games, a new daily high was registered after there had been 24 new infections the day before. This was announced by the organizers of the games. So many cases had not been recorded in one day since recording began on July 1. Again, there are three athletes among the positive cases. The organizers do not publish the names of the athletes. The number of positive tests for the competitions in Japan rose to 220. A total of 27 athletes have been infected with the corona virus so far.
July 29: 24 more corona infections
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reported a new daily high for new corona infections on Thursday: 24 people in the vicinity of the Summer Olympic Games fell ill with Covid-19 within one day. There are also three athletes. The IOC does not disclose the identity of the infected. A total of 193 people were infected with corona at the Olympics, including 20 athletes.
In the Olympic city of Tokyo, however, a daily high was reported for new infections since the beginning of the pandemic: 3,177 people are newly infected with corona. However, the IOC does not see a connection with the Olympics. Infections from Olympic participants have not yet spread to the Japanese population, said a spokesman. The Olympics will “have no impact on the situation in hospitals in Japan,” said IOC chief medical officer Richard Budgett. According to media reports, however, many Japanese people no longer adhere to the corona rules on the streets – also out of frustration with the pandemic.
July 28: 16 new corona cases at Olympia
On Wednesday, 16 further infections with corona were reported in the vicinity of the tournament at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. For the first time since the beginning of the Summer Games, there were no athletes among those infected. But infections within the Olympic teams can also affect the athletes. There have been a total of 169 corona cases at the Olympics so far. 17 infections, i.e. ten percent, occurred in athletes.
July 27: Seven more corona infections reported
At the Olympic Games in Tokyo, seven other people tested positive for the corona virus, including two athletes. The organizers announced this on Tuesday. As usual, the organizers left it open as to which athletes are infected and which team they belong to. It was only officially confirmed that the infected athletes live in the Olympic village. The Dutch Olympic team had announced that the tennis doubles player Jean-Julien Rojer had tested positive and could no longer participate in the tournament.
July 26th: 16 more infected people at the Olympics
At the start of the week, the Olympic organizers announced 16 more SARS-CoV-2 infections. The total number of corona cases at the Olympics rose to 148. According to official information, there are also three athletes among the currently reported infected people. Since the beginning of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, a double-digit number of new corona cases has been reported on each of the four tournament days. Even with full vaccination protection, athletes can become infected, as the case of the German professional cyclist Simon Geschke shows. Due to its infection, Geschke has to remain in quarantine until the beginning of next week.
July 25: 10 corona cases reported
The Organizing Committee of the Summer Olympics reported ten more infections with the corona virus on Sunday. Athletes are also among those infected. The number of corona cases at the Olympics rose to over 130. A total of 13 athletes are affected. This applies to the favorites in the golf tournament Jon Rahm from Spain and Bryson Chambeau (USA). Meanwhile, the Olympic Corona rules were also changed on Sunday: From now on, athletes are allowed to pose for photos without a mask after the medal has been awarded. Although no spectators are allowed to attend the Olympics, the road bike race had hundreds of onlookers over the weekend.
July 24th: First German infected at the Olympics – road bike race without Simon Geschke
On Saturday, 17 more corona cases were reported at the Olympics. Overall, the number of corona infections at the Olympics rose to 123. Among them is a German cyclist: The road race on Saturday took place without Simon Geschke. Geschke is the first corona case in the German team. The professional cyclist had two corona tests the evening before. Geschke is vaccinated against Corona and stated that he had “complied with all hygiene rules to the best of his knowledge and belief”. He said he felt “physically good”. To be eliminated so shortly before the race was “really hard”, said the nine-time Tour de France participant Geschke.
That is why only three German cyclists competed in the Olympic road bike race on Saturday. As the best German, Maximilian Schachmann finished in 10th place. Richard Carapaz from Ecuador won gold. The Dutch rower Finn Florijn is among the other corona cases reported on Saturday. He is the fourth person from the Dutch Olympic team to test positive for Corona.
July 23: 19 more corona infections on the day of the Olympic opening ceremony
On the day of the opening ceremony, a new corona record was reported at the Summer Olympics: In total, the organizers registered 19 more corona cases at the Olympics on Friday, more than any other day before. Three athletes who are not from Japan are affected. The committee did not provide any more precise information about the country of origin or the sports discipline of the infected. The contact persons of the infected will also have to go into quarantine. This increased the number of positive tests to a total of 106.
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Corona cases before the Olympics
In the run-up to the 2021 Summer Olympics, there have been a total of 87 positive corona tests among Olympic participants since July 1. On the last day before the Olympic opening ceremony alone, there were twelve more corona cases. The Russian European swimming champion and another athlete were also affected. The Czech beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic had already been infected with Corona beforehand. The beach volleyball player Marketa Slukova, who also comes from the Czech Republic, cannot compete due to a corona infection, which is why the German duo Laura Ludwig / Margareta Kozuch has already been awarded a victory.
Overall, some athletes were infected with corona before the tournament in Japan and can therefore not take part in the Olympics. This also hit the British athlete Amber Hill, who, as the world’s number one, has ambitions for a gold medal. Now Olympia starts without a hill.