TOKYO (KSEE) — The 2020 Summer Olympic Games are taking place in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and while a record number of positive cases have been diagnosed in the city of Tokyo, officials aren’t worried.
“We are all, as you know, living in very, very difficult times,” says Mark Adams, spokesperson for the International Olympic Committee.
He’s referring to the excess of 2,800 COVID-19 infections diagnosed in Tokyo. It’s the city’s highest number of new cases in a single day since the start of the pandemic. That record wouldn’t stand for long, being broken one day later with more than 3,100 diagnosed cases.
However, officials say in large part those diagnosed cases are not connected to the Olympic Games.
“To a large extent, there is no contact between the general public and the Games organizers on a day-to-day basis,” Adams explains. “The village is […] the most tested community anywhere in the whole world.”
He’s referring to the Olympic Village, the location which houses the competitors of the Olympic Games.
“Every day we are getting tested,” says Lauren Billys, a two-time Olympian for the equestrian team for Team USA. “Before I got here I was tested eight times, I think before I even stepped into the village.”
Tokyo is in its fourth state of emergency, one that will last throughout the Games. Tthough the situation is a struggle for officials and athletes alike, Adams says it’s worth it.
“Is it difficult, is it hard for all of us? Yes, it is,” says Adams. “I think what we are delivering for the world at these games is something that is really, really important.”