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Tokyo 2020: Your verdict


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And now it has come to this: 16 days have flown by, as usual, and the Tokyo 2020 Games which took place in 2021 will be coming to a close about 12 hours from now. So, in order to continue the tradition, I am very curious about your verdict about these Olympic Games.

Here are my two pennies worth:

The organisation and atmosphere

Of course this is a tough verdict to make - not only because (like everyone of you, I suppose) I watched the Games only from home but also because these Games took place under extraordinary circumstances. There was almost no crowd that could cheer and applaud for the athletes, there was hardly a glimpse (even for the TV viewer) into the host country and how it soaked up the Olympic atmosphere (or not), there were just venues and athletes, officials and the logistics and staff to make the Games work. But judging by what I heard and read from people who were able to witness the Games in person, they were truly impressed by the quality of the venues, the organisation and (when they were able to meet Japanese people in person at all) the friendliness and kindness of the hosts. And I must say that the athletic performances made it surprisingly easy most of the time to forget that hardly any audience was present at the venues.

But I can hardly imagine how odd it must have felt for the Japanese to play host to a sports event they could mostly watch only from a distance. We all know about the large opposition in Japan against staging these Games at all or at least in this moment of time - and I have nothing but respect for Japan that they were forced to stage the Games due to the will of the IOC and their own government, had to swallow their fear or anger and still helped to make these Games a relative success, under these tough circumstances. Of course: These Games are still facing a rather mixed response in the Japanese population even despite the mostly smooth organisation and the many Japanese medals, but this could have turned out so much worse. I guess the IOC can call itself lucky to have awarded these difficult Games to Japan where protests traditionally tend to be not too big and too controversial or even violent.

There were still clear downsides, though: The hot and humid weather was a problem to many athletes, it harmed many of their performances and even posed a serious risk to their health. In 1964, the organisers of the first Tokyo Games still were honest enough to stage the Games in October. 57 years later, we have to deal with an organising committee which already claimed in its bid that July and August are a pleasant time for world-class sports activities in Tokyo and which even "forgot" that due to climate change, Sapporo is no cooler alternative for staging the race-walking and marathon events anymore.

One also has to raise some doubts about the anti-doping measures at these Games - not only due to the alarmingly small number of doping tests taken worldwide especially during the start of the pandemic, but also due to the laxness shown during the Games. A German camera team showed how, despite the rules, athletes could walk around the venue for many minutes after their events and although they had been selected for a doping test, were left unaccompanied by officials or were even able to ignore them. This should never happen at Olympic Games that were marked by a surprising number of world and Olympic records and after all the doping scandals we have already witnessed, this should not even happen at a smaller sports event.

The sports

Bearing this in mind, it's easy and hard at the same time to rejoice in the excellent athletic performances we could witness at these Games. I feel bad about a Russian team ranking 4th (as of now) in the medal table after the huge doping scandal and the government's unapologetic stance towards critical media and observers worldwide. I feel bad about athletes shattering world records hailing from a time decades ago when illegal medication was probably already fueling those records. And yet, I felt amazed yet again by stories of athletes overcoming heavy obstacles (let alone by the pandemic) and giving their best and maybe even winning a medal in Tokyo, especially in that weather and atmosphere. I'm happy about the host country's strong showing after all the troubles Japan went through in the lead-up to these Games. I'm also happy that these Games had the most medalling nations in Olympic history. I'm surprised (or should I, when I think about doping again?) that the US have such difficulties surpassing China in the medal table (if one uses the international method of counting the gold medals first), but that probably shows that even for former sports powerhouses, it has become a lot tougher to maintain their status and not fall victim to the increased international competition.

I'm not so happy about my own country's showing in these Games, though. Team Germany has lost many of its former powerhouses: The rowing and canoeing produced surprisingly few medals and for the first time in 25 years, Germany hasn't won a single medal in any ball team sport. Yet again, Germany is having a discussion about how to fund and prepare our athletes adequately for such an important event. Adding to that, the German athletes were unlucky: Annika Schleu lost her very good chance for a gold medal in the modern pentathlon because her horse refused - and created a debate about animal protection and unlogical rules in sports. Jonathan Horne was deemed a strong contender in Karate and seriously injured his arm five seconds before the end of his second fight. Johannes Vetter, another gold contender in the men's javelin throw, could not deal with the unusually soft track at Olympic Stadium, stumbled and failed to deliver any good throw. On the other hand, Sarah Köhler and Florian Wellbrock were able to break the 13-year-old "no Olympic swimming medals for Germany" spell and sailing and wrestling produced surprisingly good results, compared to previous Games. In the end, Germany can call itself lucky if it remains one of the Top 10 sports nations in the long run - and has to seriously increase its efforts in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Games.

The overall impression

So, this is clearly a mixed bag. These were definitely not the best Games ever - which is no surprise probably, regarding the unusual circumstances. They haven't been a disaster either. But, just like the Rio 2016 Games, I still feel as if these Games took place at the wrong location and the wrong time. Yes, it was great for the athletes that they still got their chance to compete and for me it was a welcome distraction from these dire times. Yes, Japan has showed once again that it is highly capable of staging the biggest sports events in the world. But Japan has had and will have to pay an enormous price for this luxury item called "Olympic Games".

While these Games have brought a lot of distraction and even joy to me, they haven't distracted my thoughts about the Olympic Idea fighting for its survival. In times of over-commercialisation, greed, corruption and doping in sports, climate change and increasing opposition against the Olympic Games, one has to ask how long this can work. Six months from now, when Beijing welcomes the world for the Olympic Winter Games, this question will probably be even more prominent, because then we will have to add China's repressions and poor human rights record to that unappetizing mix.

Under these circumstances, I can sadly only give Tokyo a "Well done" or 6 out of 10 points. Tokyo and Japan are not or only partially responsible for the problems the sports world and the entire humanity have to face right now, but it could also not give the world a light of hope. Tokyo brutally confronted us with everything that is wrong on our planet right now. I will always feel sorry for the Japanese people that they had to take that burden and could not show their full potential as hosts at these Games, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The brilliant handover in Rio five years ago showed what could have been. Just like the already rather jagged opening ceremony showed: It wasn't meant to be. Here's hoping that Paris can be host under different circumstances in 2024. Otherwise, humanity and also the IOC will be seriously screwed. Nevertheless: Arigato, Tokyo - arigato, Nippon!

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12 minutes ago, Olympian2004 said:

And now it has come to this: 16 days have flown by, as usual, and the Tokyo 2020 Games which took place in 2021 will be coming to a close about 12 hours from now. So, in order to continue the tradition, I am very curious about your verdict about these Olympic Games.

Here are my two pennies worth:

The organisation and atmosphere

Of course this is a tough verdict to make - not only because (like everyone of you, I suppose) I watched the Games only from home but also because these Games took place under extraordinary circumstances. There was almost no crowd that could cheer and applaud for the athletes, there was hardly a glimpse (even for the TV viewer) into the host country and how it soaked up the Olympic atmosphere (or not), there were just venues and athletes, officials and the logistics and staff to make the Games work. But judging by what I heard and read from people who were able to witness the Games in person, they were truly impressed by the quality of the venues, the organisation and (when they were able to meet Japanese people in person at all) the friendliness and kindness of the hosts. And I must say that the athletic performances made it surprisingly easy most of the time to forget that hardly any audience was present at the venues.

But I can hardly imagine how odd it must have felt for the Japanese to play host to a sports event they could mostly watch only from a distance. We all know about the large opposition in Japan against staging these Games at all or at least in this moment of time - and I have nothing but respect for Japan that they were forced to stage the Games due to the will of the IOC and their own government, had to swallow their fear or anger and still helped to make these Games a relative success, under these tough circumstances. Of course: These Games are still facing a rather mixed response in the Japanese population even despite the mostly smooth organisation and the many Japanese medals, but this could have turned out so much worse. I guess the IOC can call itself lucky to have awarded these difficult Games to Japan where protests traditionally tend to be not too big and too controversial or even violent.

There were still clear downsides, though: The hot and humid weather was a problem to many athletes, it harmed many of their performances and even posed a serious risk to their health. In 1964, the organisers of the first Tokyo Games still were honest enough to stage the Games in October. 57 years later, we have to deal with an organising committee which already claimed in its bid that July and August are a pleasant time for world-class sports activities in Tokyo and which even "forgot" that due to climate change, Sapporo is no cooler alternative for staging the race-walking and marathon events anymore.

One also has to raise some doubts about the anti-doping measures at these Games - not only due to the alarmingly small number of doping tests taken worldwide especially during the start of the pandemic, but also due to the laxness shown during the Games. A German camera team showed how, despite the rules, athletes could walk around the venue for many minutes after their events and although they had been selected for a doping test, were left unaccompanied by officials or were even able to ignore them. This should never happen at Olympic Games that were marked by a surprising number of world and Olympic records and after all the doping scandals we have already witnessed, this should not even happen at a smaller sports event.

The sports

Bearing this in mind, it's easy and hard at the same time to rejoice in the excellent athletic performances we could witness at these Games. I feel bad about a Russian team ranking 4th (as of now) in the medal table after the huge doping scandal and the government's unapologetic stance towards critical media and observers worldwide. I feel bad about athletes shattering world records hailing from a time decades ago when illegal medication was probably already fueling those records. And yet, I felt amazed yet again by stories of athletes overcoming heavy obstacles (let alone by the pandemic) and giving their best and maybe even winning a medal in Tokyo, especially in that weather and atmosphere. I'm happy about the host country's strong showing after all the troubles Japan went through in the lead-up to these Games. I'm also happy that these Games had the most medalling nations in Olympic history. I'm surprised (or should I, when I think about doping again?) that the US have such difficulties surpassing China in the medal table (if one uses the international method of counting the gold medals first), but that probably shows that even for former sports powerhouses, it has become a lot tougher to maintain their status and not fall victim to the increased international competition.

I'm not so happy about my own country's showing in these Games, though. Team Germany has lost many of its former powerhouses: The rowing and canoeing produced surprisingly few medals and for the first time in 25 years, Germany hasn't won a single medal in any ball team sport. Yet again, Germany is having a discussion about how to fund and prepare our athletes adequately for such an important event. Adding to that, the German athletes were unlucky: Annika Schleu lost her very good chance for a gold medal in the modern pentathlon because her horse refused - and created a debate about animal protection and unlogical rules in sports. Jonathan Horne was deemed a strong contender in Karate and seriously injured his arm five seconds before the end of his second fight. Johannes Vetter, another gold contender in the men's javelin throw, could not deal with the unusually soft track at Olympic Stadium, stumbled and failed to deliver any good throw. On the other hand, Sarah Köhler and Florian Wellbrock were able to break the 13-year-old "no Olympic swimming medals for Germany" spell and sailing and wrestling produced surprisingly good results, compared to previous Games. In the end, Germany can call itself lucky if it remains one of the Top 10 sports nations in the long run - and has to seriously increase its efforts in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Games.

The overall impression

So, this is clearly a mixed bag. These were definitely not the best Games ever - which is no surprise probably, regarding the unusual circumstances. They haven't been a disaster either. But, just like the Rio 2016 Games, I still feel as if these Games took place at the wrong location and the wrong time. Yes, it was great for the athletes that they still got their chance to compete and for me it was a welcome distraction from these dire times. Yes, Japan has showed once again that it is highly capable of staging the biggest sports events in the world. But Japan has had and will have to pay an enormous price for this luxury item called "Olympic Games".

While these Games have brought a lot of distraction and even joy to me, they haven't distracted my thoughts about the Olympic Idea fighting for its survival. In times of over-commercialisation, greed, corruption and doping in sports, climate change and increasing opposition against the Olympic Games, one has to ask how long this can work. Six months from now, when Beijing welcomes the world for the Olympic Winter Games, this question will probably be even more prominent, because then we will have to add China's repressions and poor human rights record to that unappetizing mix.

Under these circumstances, I can sadly only give Tokyo a "Well done" or 6 out of 10 points. Tokyo and Japan are not or only partially responsible for the problems the sports world and the entire humanity have to face right now, but it could also not give the world a light of hope. Tokyo brutally confronted us with everything that is wrong on our planet right now. I will always feel sorry for the Japanese people that they had to take that burden and could not show their full potential as hosts at these Games, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The brilliant handover in Rio five years ago showed what could have been. Just like the already rather jagged opening ceremony showed: It wasn't meant to be. Here's hoping that Paris can be host under different circumstances in 2024. Otherwise, humanity and also the IOC will be seriously screwed. Nevertheless: Arigato, Tokyo - arigato, Nippon!

We still got the Paralympics left

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1 hour ago, Olympian2004 said:

And now it has come to this: 16 days have flown by, as usual, and the Tokyo 2020 Games which took place in 2021 will be coming to a close about 12 hours from now. So, in order to continue the tradition, I am very curious about your verdict about these Olympic Games.

Here are my two pennies worth:

The organisation and atmosphere

Of course this is a tough verdict to make - not only because (like everyone of you, I suppose) I watched the Games only from home but also because these Games took place under extraordinary circumstances. There was almost no crowd that could cheer and applaud for the athletes, there was hardly a glimpse (even for the TV viewer) into the host country and how it soaked up the Olympic atmosphere (or not), there were just venues and athletes, officials and the logistics and staff to make the Games work. But judging by what I heard and read from people who were able to witness the Games in person, they were truly impressed by the quality of the venues, the organisation and (when they were able to meet Japanese people in person at all) the friendliness and kindness of the hosts. And I must say that the athletic performances made it surprisingly easy most of the time to forget that hardly any audience was present at the venues.

But I can hardly imagine how odd it must have felt for the Japanese to play host to a sports event they could mostly watch only from a distance. We all know about the large opposition in Japan against staging these Games at all or at least in this moment of time - and I have nothing but respect for Japan that they were forced to stage the Games due to the will of the IOC and their own government, had to swallow their fear or anger and still helped to make these Games a relative success, under these tough circumstances. Of course: These Games are still facing a rather mixed response in the Japanese population even despite the mostly smooth organisation and the many Japanese medals, but this could have turned out so much worse. I guess the IOC can call itself lucky to have awarded these difficult Games to Japan where protests traditionally tend to be not too big and too controversial or even violent.

There were still clear downsides, though: The hot and humid weather was a problem to many athletes, it harmed many of their performances and even posed a serious risk to their health. In 1964, the organisers of the first Tokyo Games still were honest enough to stage the Games in October. 57 years later, we have to deal with an organising committee which already claimed in its bid that July and August are a pleasant time for world-class sports activities in Tokyo and which even "forgot" that due to climate change, Sapporo is no cooler alternative for staging the race-walking and marathon events anymore.

One also has to raise some doubts about the anti-doping measures at these Games - not only due to the alarmingly small number of doping tests taken worldwide especially during the start of the pandemic, but also due to the laxness shown during the Games. A German camera team showed how, despite the rules, athletes could walk around the venue for many minutes after their events and although they had been selected for a doping test, were left unaccompanied by officials or were even able to ignore them. This should never happen at Olympic Games that were marked by a surprising number of world and Olympic records and after all the doping scandals we have already witnessed, this should not even happen at a smaller sports event.

The sports

Bearing this in mind, it's easy and hard at the same time to rejoice in the excellent athletic performances we could witness at these Games. I feel bad about a Russian team ranking 4th (as of now) in the medal table after the huge doping scandal and the government's unapologetic stance towards critical media and observers worldwide. I feel bad about athletes shattering world records hailing from a time decades ago when illegal medication was probably already fueling those records. And yet, I felt amazed yet again by stories of athletes overcoming heavy obstacles (let alone by the pandemic) and giving their best and maybe even winning a medal in Tokyo, especially in that weather and atmosphere. I'm happy about the host country's strong showing after all the troubles Japan went through in the lead-up to these Games. I'm also happy that these Games had the most medalling nations in Olympic history. I'm surprised (or should I, when I think about doping again?) that the US have such difficulties surpassing China in the medal table (if one uses the international method of counting the gold medals first), but that probably shows that even for former sports powerhouses, it has become a lot tougher to maintain their status and not fall victim to the increased international competition.

I'm not so happy about my own country's showing in these Games, though. Team Germany has lost many of its former powerhouses: The rowing and canoeing produced surprisingly few medals and for the first time in 25 years, Germany hasn't won a single medal in any ball team sport. Yet again, Germany is having a discussion about how to fund and prepare our athletes adequately for such an important event. Adding to that, the German athletes were unlucky: Annika Schleu lost her very good chance for a gold medal in the modern pentathlon because her horse refused - and created a debate about animal protection and unlogical rules in sports. Jonathan Horne was deemed a strong contender in Karate and seriously injured his arm five seconds before the end of his second fight. Johannes Vetter, another gold contender in the men's javelin throw, could not deal with the unusually soft track at Olympic Stadium, stumbled and failed to deliver any good throw. On the other hand, Sarah Köhler and Florian Wellbrock were able to break the 13-year-old "no Olympic swimming medals for Germany" spell and sailing and wrestling produced surprisingly good results, compared to previous Games. In the end, Germany can call itself lucky if it remains one of the Top 10 sports nations in the long run - and has to seriously increase its efforts in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Games.

The overall impression

So, this is clearly a mixed bag. These were definitely not the best Games ever - which is no surprise probably, regarding the unusual circumstances. They haven't been a disaster either. But, just like the Rio 2016 Games, I still feel as if these Games took place at the wrong location and the wrong time. Yes, it was great for the athletes that they still got their chance to compete and for me it was a welcome distraction from these dire times. Yes, Japan has showed once again that it is highly capable of staging the biggest sports events in the world. But Japan has had and will have to pay an enormous price for this luxury item called "Olympic Games".

While these Games have brought a lot of distraction and even joy to me, they haven't distracted my thoughts about the Olympic Idea fighting for its survival. In times of over-commercialisation, greed, corruption and doping in sports, climate change and increasing opposition against the Olympic Games, one has to ask how long this can work. Six months from now, when Beijing welcomes the world for the Olympic Winter Games, this question will probably be even more prominent, because then we will have to add China's repressions and poor human rights record to that unappetizing mix.

Under these circumstances, I can sadly only give Tokyo a "Well done" or 6 out of 10 points. Tokyo and Japan are not or only partially responsible for the problems the sports world and the entire humanity have to face right now, but it could also not give the world a light of hope. Tokyo brutally confronted us with everything that is wrong on our planet right now. I will always feel sorry for the Japanese people that they had to take that burden and could not show their full potential as hosts at these Games, due to the COVID-19 restrictions. The brilliant handover in Rio five years ago showed what could have been. Just like the already rather jagged opening ceremony showed: It wasn't meant to be. Here's hoping that Paris can be host under different circumstances in 2024. Otherwise, humanity and also the IOC will be seriously screwed. Nevertheless: Arigato, Tokyo - arigato, Nippon!

I will wait until after the closing to share my thoughts.

olympian2004 we have similar names, am i your successor here haha

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Great to see you here F! Thanks for starting this up. At least one tradition is still active!

Hmm. What to say? I’ve been thinking about it a lot the past few days, but it’s still difficult. I don’t think I’m able to break them down as usual, or give ratings.

These will forevermore be the Covid Games. A special circumstances. They’ll always have an asterisk next to them.

They were not the joyous, celebratory, fun and quirky games the Japanese or we anticipated. They were not the utter disaster the alarmists, far more than usual, predicted. They didn’t hit any heights of greatness, but they in no way were a flop or failure. They just were. I think we all feel sorry they Japanese didn’t get the games they deserved or experience the joys of being host to the world’s biggest party. We’ll always wistfully wonder what might have been. But I think it’s important that they actually went ahead, despite our doubts on the wisdom of doing so right up to the opening ceremony.

On ceremonies I won’t say anything. The ceremony fanatics have already said all there is to say to oblivion.

The circumstances of Tokyo 2020 meant the laser focus was on nothing but the sports, and it reminded me just how much fun watching all these athletes from so many countries in so many different and novel sports can be. I had a blast again and really enjoyed them. Loved most of the new sports (only skateboard street was a bit underwhelming, and surfing wasn’t as picturesque as I thought it would be - I look forward to seeing surfing come into its own in Tahiti!). I suppose, to me, the only thing the sports lacked was a breakout star or legend. Maybe it would have been Simone Biles, except…. . But there was no Phelps or Bolt to leave their mark. I guess  that while Rio was the crowning moment for the last generation of superstars, Tokyo is now the first step for the next generation, who’ll write their legacy in Paris and LA.

For Australia, and for me personally, these were a Great Games! Our best ever gold haul, tied with Athens. Our swimmers came good, more than good, and we got some really special moments from the likes of Jess Fox in the kayak, Logan Martin in BMX Freestyle and Keegan Palmer in the skateboarding. We’ve been longing for a games like these since Athens and got it finally. And we got it a a perfect time - we are in a grim lockdown, a captive audience in need of some positive vibes, watching a successful Games for Oz in our own time zone. I suspect these have rated through the roof here and will have inspired a future generation of Aussie Olympians. Just perfect or us. The vaccine we really needed for the Covid blues.

While on our local coverage… I have to give kudos to Channel 7, and the 7+ App. Meant I could, on my TV, switch to the OBS feeds of any sport. Finally I was able to flick through, watch anything I wanted, and catch up on sports I rarely get to see, even in highlights. Technology at work at its best.

I really missed the GamesBids Games Carnival. I used to be such good fun and became part of my traditional Games experience. It’s a pity the board has declined so much, but nice to see so many of us at least look in. Most of us have moved on and bidding just isn’t really bidding any more. My heart’s not in it any more, but I’ll still keep looking in, at least to keep zapping the fake passports spam. Hope we’ll all bump into each other again come Paris. We’ll always have Paris.

Ah, Paris! I really look forward to those games. Sooooo hope they run like a classic games and meet all expectations. Would love to attend, if circumstances permit.

So, well done Tokyo! You didn’t drop the baton and while it wasn’t a party, we still had fun.

Edited by Sir Rols
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Despite what is going on, a decent games. The Japanese managed to pull it off. Yeah, the spectators and fans were missing, but what can you do? I still have to find replays of a various sports CBC seemed to have passed by, like Equestrian. Didn't see one clip from Equestrian. Didn't even see surfing.

We got a six month break now, but who knows what's gonna happen in those six months with Beijing.

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The real winner of these games have been the athletes for putting on some great sporting performances and i have loved every minute of them.

The opening ceremony was the worst olympic opening in modern olympic history

The venues were fantastic 

The big losers were the Japanese people not being able to attend their own games but this was the fault of their own governments shocking vaccination rollout and not the IOC

The USA regained their place at the top of the medal table to cement that Team USA are the best!!!!!

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I think Japan did well for what it was given and very few other countries could have pulled it off. The Japanese people are the real losers in not being able to participate in an event they might never get a other opportunity to experience.  Some did go to watch outdoor events at 7:00 in the morning.

Being an American in Germany, I  expect more from the two countries,  but am more of a give me good performance.

I don't care for judged sports. So I was quite happy watching climbing and look forward to it being added for good. 

I heard many were not pleased with the camera presentation with the skateboarding.

I am looking forward to Paris 2024.

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At first, I thought that these games probably cancelled at the last minute but they have been somewhat good. The competition was exceptional even though there was no crowds which I believe makes the games more special. But thanks to COVID-19 and the Japanese government ineptitude for not getting people vaccinated in time to watch them in person somehow someway they pulled it off. I wouldn't put these games on the level of Sydney, Athens, Beijing or London. I wouldn't put them anywhere near the class of Barcelona in 1992 but these games should be called the "Perseverance Games" cause the athletes have waited for 5 years since Rio for their moment and they have made it. Simone and Naomi put mental health on the world's biggest sporting stage telling the athletes saying "it's okay not to be okay" and yet still performed at their highest level. I would give these games a B-. I hope 6 months from now the Winter Games in Beijing will more memorable but other than that the athletes and the games have persevered.

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I think these were "possible games", given the circumstances in which they happened.

From the standpoint of the ceremonies I think it was forgettable. My expectations were high. Here in Brazil, where we have the largest community of Japanese descendants outside of Japan, the country is always seen as a technological power, apart from the great presence of Japanese culture here with anime and video games. I expected to see some of that in the ceremonies and I leave very frustrated. The feeling I got is that it seemed like a bunch of loose segments, as if they didn't know what they wanted to show about Japan. COVID19 is something that needed to be mentioned at the ceremony, but the atmosphere of lamentation was excessive.

I think the idea of a pure Olympic movement that is moved by the Olympic spirit is naive to say the least. The IOC is visibly concerned with the revenue that the games can generate, of course, some measures are taken to ensure that the Olympics are minimally well received by public opinion, but always to ensure that the movement finds cities interested in hosting the games and sponsors willing to fill their coffers.

As for the sporting events, it was undoubtedly interesting without the presence of the public. The option of the organizers and OBS not to create an "artificial cheering sound" in the competition arenas was very valid, we can hear the athletes screaming and the coaches giving directions, which was very difficult in the last games (especially in Rio2016, I recognize that we Brazilians like to make noise all the time in the arenas).

About Brazil, we broke the record for total medals and repeated the 7 golds of Rio2016, it's something that the Brazilian media is celebrating this weekend. Our performance was greatly favored by Skate and Surf, despite criticism of what many considered an unfair assessment by the judges of Gabriel Medina's (Surf) performance, which ended up leaving him off the podium. The absence of Brazil on the Beach Volley podium was a negative point. One last criticism is for men's football, the refusal to wear the Brazilian Olympic Committee uniform on the podium, generated heavy criticism from other Olympic athletes and even from TVGlobo, as it could harm the COB in negotiations with sponsors for the next cycle.

In any case, in the post-Rio2016 period, the investment for training new Olympic athletes was reduced by 40%, with most athletes living on a government grant of US$ 200 per month and with minimal training conditions. In addition, for political reasons, the Bolsonaro government completely ignored Tokyo-2020, due to a rivalry between TVGlobo (broadcaster) and the government.

In Brazilian public opinion, the games were only a secondary issue, unfortunately the main news was dedicated to coverage of investigations into government corruption in the purchase of vaccines and the growing possibility of Bolsonaro attempting a coup d'état to stay in power.

About TVGlobo, it was the exclusive holder of the broadcasting rights for the Olympic Games, which is part of a long-term agreement with the IOC that runs until Brisbane 2032. Olympics managed to further increase the channel's audience. The broadcasting hours usually took place between 11pm and 11am, with wide coverage on the broadcaster's newscasts. The focus of the broadcasts were events with Brazilian participation, in particular football, indoor volleyball, beach volleyball, swimming, artistic gymnastics and judo, although the channel opened space for the participation of Brazilians in unpopular sports such as Equestrian, tennis table and archery. On pay TV, SPORTV (also part of Grupo Globo), dedicated 4 channels to the Olympic coverage. 'Globoplay' (streaming) provided the OBS feeds.

After Tokyo, my ranking of the best games I followed is:

1. London-2012
2. Beijing-2008
3. Rio-2016
4. Athens-2004

5. Tokyo-2020

Let's go to Paris!

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Despite the disastrous, pessimistic lead up, and an Opening Ceremony which felt more like a Funeral than a celebration, I think Japan still fought against all of the odds and managed to make a very good event, organization wise, despite the current circunstances the world is facing right now. Its just a huge shame they could not enjoy this event as most japanese didn't even knew it was happening given how bubbled up they were. But like some people said here, the blame is into Abe and Suga for being slowpokes with the vaccinations. Neverthless, whats done is done, and the catastrophe which many doomsayers said it was going to happen with hosting these games was prevented. Only time will tell if Japan will have a second chance to have the party which couldn't be. The Asian Games aren't too much popular and it will be mostly a celebration for the people of Aichi and Nagoya which, compared to Tokyo and Osaka, never had much protagonism representing Japan in events besides the 2005 Expo, but maybe they can be a What If.

The athletes were undoubtly, as it should always be, the main protagonists of the show, with their outstanding performances and many broken records. While we still don't have popular figures yet, we have to understand these were the games of a new generation since the old one said goodbye to us in Rio. Their time of fame will come very soon in Paris and L.A. As for my country, I cannot complain. These were the best games performance wise we had in many decades, and with an Olympic and World Record included. I couldn't ask more from them.

I pray that these and Beijing will be the first and only Covid Games, and the world will have surpassed this terrible pandemic by 2024. For all the criticism their handover got, at least they delivered a light of hope which was so needed, with the parisian people being together and celebrating despite the current situation. I trust in France and Paris to give us a classy event, after all, the french know when to have class when they're at the spotlight.

I'm still contempt with watching Beijing's next winter, but I've been a longtime fan of Olympics so i'll try to ignore all of the political drama this edition will be and cheer for the athletes, just like I did this year. But I hope Paris comes soon enough and renews hope and prestige to an event which really needs it. And hopefully by then our dear Olympic champion in fencing will be out of the picture.

Overall, I give Tokyo a 6/10. I understand most of what happened was not their fault, but at the end we're qualifying a final product and not a "what could had been". I'm sure they'll get a 11/10 when they are under a much luckier scenario.

See you next winter!

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Extraordinary Games, considering the circumstances.  The world will now have a model in how to handle the next spectacle amidst a pandemic.  

After Beijing, there will be Eugene, Oregon 2022 for the IAAF World Games and the FIVB World Championships in Russia for the men and Poland/the Netherlands for the women, next year.  And of course, the dueling Birmingham events next year!!

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It seems almost unfair to rate the Tokyo Olympics in comparison to any other host city given the circumstances that we all know about and which no other host city has ever had to deal with before, so I'm not going to try. Instead, I think the onus is on all of us to doff our collective hats to Tokyo and Japan for staging a Games like no other and one the likes of which I hope we won't see again. 

From a British perspective, the Games have been quite magnificent once again. To match our medal total from London and only be a couple short of our Rio total is remarkable and with so many fourth place finishes plus a lot of young talent, one cannot help but get excited for the next cycle. Roll on Paris. I expect the Eurostar will be busy.

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Given the circumstances, bravo to everyone involved to pull it off.  As a couple of people noted, almost not fair to try and compare it to past Olympics, but so what.  Was worried these Olympics would be devoid of their soul, but that wasn't the case.  Sure, it wasn't what it could have been.  But for 16 days, the athletes took center stage, and they produced more than a few indelible images that will stay with us for a long time to come.

From the standpoint that it took an extra year for these Games to happen and that many times over, we weren't sure what we were going to get, hard to argue with what we witnessed.  Yes, these will forever be the COVID games and years from now, we'll look back at images of empty stands and mask-wearing athletes and be reminded of a once-in-a-century global pandemic.  But right now, in the immediate aftermath of these Olympics, it's hard for me to have anything but feelings of joy and satisfaction given all the negativity that preceded these Olympics and how risky they seemed to be for a long time.  Again, can't say enough about all the organizers and volunteers who made for a safe and secure games under some of the most extraordinary circumstances we've ever witnessed.  To that, I say.. domo arigato gozaimasu!

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These Olympic Games were like an Olympic T&F event in itself. Years of dedication, training, preparation & major obstacles. Leading at the very beginning, but falling behind when the unprecedented challenges seemed so great. But then, close to the very end, they came in from behind, making a big dash to the finish line to claim victory. And what an extraordinary finish it was, when all the decks seemed stacked against them. So for that, thank you, Tokyo. And thank you, Japan. For your well deserved Olympic Gold medal. 

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Once again the athletes did what they needed to do and the competitions were good.  

HOWEVER it is hard to judge from the looks. We don't know what went on behind the scenes. We don't know the full picture about the billions of dollars waste (even before covid). We don't know why so many people quit the organizing committees. These things tell me the games did not go as well as people imagine. 

I am stunned at how biased the MEDIA has been about Japan. For example, did you see the pollution of the water in Tokyo's bay? So much dirtier and smellier (according to witnesses) than in Rio, but the last Olympics got much more trash talk. And the fear mongering about zika last time? This time I see NO journalism concern about athletes bringing fresh covid variants home. In Australia, we have hotel quarantine which should take care of it, but how about the countries that don't?

I also didn't see the media giving the wider population a chance to express themselves. I still don't know if the narrative that the majority rejected the games is true or if most people actually wanted it (think of those hundreds gathered on a bridge trying to catch the BMX, or the many apologising for the terrible ceremonies). I think Japan could have allowed attendance to the stadia with proper social distancing as they are not in lockdown, but they sacrificed the local's involvement in order to look "responsible" to the rest of the world. It's bullshit.

Therefore, the media once again takes the medal for narrative fabrication (in this case, positive for the Japanese government), and the country will leave unscathed from much criticism. Especially after the crappy ceremonies (worst ever).

If it had been Rio, the media would have called it a disaster. But to them (and to us in the receiving end), Tokyo is fine. These Olympics highlighted the persisting prejudice and privilege. These Games  will be forever elitist.  

 

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I won't rate these games vs other cities but I thought they were a superb games. Possibly helped by the fact the Aussies had a terrific Olympics and the timezone was favourable in Australia. We won't get another Olympics in our timezone until Brisbane now!

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11 minutes ago, olimpicgamer said:

Once again the athletes did what they needed to do and the competitions were good.  

HOWEVER it is hard to judge from the looks. We don't know what went on behind the scenes. We don't know the full picture about the billions of dollars waste (even before covid). We don't know why so many people quit the organizing committees. These things tell me the games did not go as well as people imagine. 

I am stunned at how biased the MEDIA has been about Japan. For example, did you see the pollution of the water in Tokyo's bay? So much dirtier and smellier (according to witnesses) than in Rio, but the last Olympics got much more trash talk. And the fear mongering about zika last time? This time I see NO journalism concern about athletes bringing fresh covid variants home. In Australia, we have hotel quarantine which should take care of it, but how about the countries that don't?

I also didn't see the media giving the wider population a chance to express themselves. I still don't know if the narrative that the majority rejected the games is true or if most people actually wanted it (think of those hundreds gathered on a bridge trying to catch the BMX, or the many apologising for the terrible ceremonies). I think Japan could have allowed attendance to the stadia with proper social distancing as they are not in lockdown, but they sacrificed the local's involvement in order to look "responsible" to the rest of the world. It's bullshit.

Therefore, the media once again takes the medal for narrative fabrication (in this case, positive for the Japanese government), and the country will leave unscathed from much criticism. Especially after the crappy ceremonies (worst ever).

If it had been Rio, the media would have called it a disaster. But to them (and to us in the receiving end), Tokyo is fine. These Olympics highlighted the persisting prejudice and privilege. These Games  will be forever elitist.  

 

I tend to agree with you, Rio would have been shat upon big time if this had been there. That said, if this year had been Rio, I think it’s highly likely they would indeed have been outright cancelled - Bolsonaro’s seemed to have zero interest in trying to contain the pandemic

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29 minutes ago, olimpicgamer said:

I also didn't see the media giving the wider population a chance to express themselves. I still don't know if the narrative that the majority rejected the games is true or if most people actually wanted it (think of those hundreds gathered on a bridge trying to catch the BMX, or the many apologising for the terrible ceremonies). I think Japan could have allowed attendance to the stadia with proper social distancing as they are not in lockdown, but they sacrificed the local's involvement in order to look "responsible" to the rest of the world. It's bullshit.

 

That really is the thing. I think most in Tokyo probably weren’t against the games per se, but they wanted a chance to do It in ideal times.

What I assume this felt like to those in Tokyo was kind of like how it felt when Toronto hosted one of the NHL Playoff Bubbles around this time last year. Despite it being in Toronto, it didn’t exactly feel like it because practically everyone was forbidden from going anywhere near it. The dull broadcasts wouldn’t have mattered if they were in Toronto or on the moon.

Unlike Toronto simply hosting hockey games, an entire Olympics was held this way and now taxpayers are 20 billion dollars in the hole for an event that no one in Tokyo got to celebrate.

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19 hours ago, olimpicgamer said:

Once again the athletes did what they needed to do and the competitions were good.  

HOWEVER it is hard to judge from the looks. We don't know what went on behind the scenes. We don't know the full picture about the billions of dollars waste (even before covid). We don't know why so many people quit the organizing committees. These things tell me the games did not go as well as people imagine. 

I am stunned at how biased the MEDIA has been about Japan. For example, did you see the pollution of the water in Tokyo's bay? So much dirtier and smellier (according to witnesses) than in Rio, but the last Olympics got much more trash talk. And the fear mongering about zika last time? This time I see NO journalism concern about athletes bringing fresh covid variants home. In Australia, we have hotel quarantine which should take care of it, but how about the countries that don't?

I also didn't see the media giving the wider population a chance to express themselves. I still don't know if the narrative that the majority rejected the games is true or if most people actually wanted it (think of those hundreds gathered on a bridge trying to catch the BMX, or the many apologising for the terrible ceremonies). I think Japan could have allowed attendance to the stadia with proper social distancing as they are not in lockdown, but they sacrificed the local's involvement in order to look "responsible" to the rest of the world. It's bullshit.

Therefore, the media once again takes the medal for narrative fabrication (in this case, positive for the Japanese government), and the country will leave unscathed from much criticism. Especially after the crappy ceremonies (worst ever).

If it had been Rio, the media would have called it a disaster. But to them (and to us in the receiving end), Tokyo is fine. These Olympics highlighted the persisting prejudice and privilege. These Games  will be forever elitist.  

 

Sadly I agree. I still see articles TODAY, in 2021, that falsely claim Maracanã is wrecked and "largely abandoned", with the "evidence" being carefully selected photos from 2016 during the ownership transition. It'd be one thing if it was just random blogs, but widely-read national sources will literally cite this article as evidence in their "Rio's facilities are abandoned." People eat it up and don't even question it. It's pretty messed up, and you can see the ugly narrative being pushed. 

Can't even imagine the uproar if the boat incident at the triathlon happened in Rio.

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All right! Well first, congratulations to Tokyo and Japan for pulling off the Olympics! Well done.

For me, the Games themselves were super fun to watch on TV, and these really felt like the most unpredictable Olympics I've ever watched.

Ceremonies............yikes. The least successful that I can ever recall watching. Is there anything to say that hasn't already been said?

Look of the Games....... Simple but sharp. Excellent color palette. Every time I'd get close to saying "boring", little moments really saved it: Like those "hero" placements of the gold "TOKYO 2020" over the background color. Or when you'd see a mix of the pictograms and the Tokyo 2020 + Rings. Just enough surprises to keep it interesting. I wish they had "Tokyo 2020" in Japanese as well as English. This little touch would stay cohesive and have given the Games more local flavor without reducing to stereotypes. 

Crowd....... I didn't actually mind the lack of crowds on TV as much as I thought. The energy from the coaches and sideline people was good enough for me. 

Atmosphere........ It really felt like these Games may as well have been "Houston 2020", "Frankfurt 2020", "Perth 2020"... i.e. I seldom got the local feeling of Japan from the heavy use of western music. The vanilla vibe was kind of off-putting to me.

Sports............ All personal opinion of course, but I absolutely loved the additions of Skateboarding, Surfing, and Climbing. Hope they are permanent. Kept feeling like, "Why weren't these here already?" I'd have loved to have seen these in Rio and past Olympics. The lack of predictability and the lack of brand name stars actually made the events a little more interesting to me. 

I felt bad for the competitors having to compete in the heat.. there were moments you could just see on TV how miserably hot it was.

To me, the sports saved the day.

My lasting impression is that just how badly I wish we could reboot 2016 / 2020 without any surrounding crises. Rio and Tokyo are natural Olympic cities, yet the way the Games happened for both makes their return seemingly unlikely. Sad, and I hope not the case. IMO, both had "best-ever" potential under different circumstances. 

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