The Tokyo Olympics showed large sporting events could safely be held in a pandemic and challenged policy makers to show why such events should not be held – rather than asking why they should, veteran Games administrator Sandy Holloway told The Australian Financial Review.
The two-week tournament that wound up on Sunday after safely allowing competitors from over 200 countries to compete set a standard for assessing other events, the former head of the Sydney 2000 said.
“It almost to me flips the onus around the other way now,” Mr Holloway “If somebody believes and event can’t occur, that’s what needs to established, not that it can occur.”
Organisers on Sunday reported an extra 26 Tokyo 2020 cases, bringing the total since July 1 to 430 infections among athletes, officials and Olympics-contracted workers. Just 29 athletes featured in that total, with nearly two-thirds of those cases among Japan-resident Games workers, rather than foreign visitors.
“Tokyo has shown that with enough care about health and precautions, you can have 200 countries come from around the world and hold the biggest and most complex sporting event on earth and still make it a very significant and a very enjoyable one,” Mr Holloway said.
“This is what life should be about. For people locked down it’s a healthy reminder that this is the sort of thing that life should be about.”
Australia enjoyed its third-most successful Games ever without a single case of COVID among its 486 competitors.