Covid and the Olympics

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Feels like this now deserves its own thread. Not surprisingly this is blowing up all around the games.

Bradley Beal from the men's basketball team has withdrawn due to entering health and safety protocols, which presumably means he tested positive.

US female tennis player Coco Gauf has tested positive and withdrawn.

A female member of US gymnastics has tested positive. Name unannounced, but it's reportedly a teenager, which would rule out Biles.
 

johnmd20

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I would love to see the Olympics find a way because the summer Olympics are genuinely awesome. But it seems impossible with Delta, in a country that doesn't have close to 10% of the population vaccinated.

Frankly, the NBA would be lucky to get this season in the books and it is guaranteed to end this week. I am surprised baseball hasn't had more trouble.
 

bsj

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For the gymnasts its being reported to be one of the 4 alternates.

My money is on Wong who announced recently she has not been vaccinated.
 

Tokyo Sox

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I would love to see the Olympics find a way because the summer Olympics are genuinely awesome. But it seems impossible with Delta, in a country that doesn't have close to 10% of the population vaccinated.
I have a lot to say about the Olympics and will get a post in the general thread tomorrow but for now just wanted to point out that the bolded # is incorrect. We're at just over 20% with both doses now. Obviously still terrible of course.
 

santadevil

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I would love to see the Olympics find a way because the summer Olympics are genuinely awesome.
I'm with you, but I'm of the mind that this is going to end up as a complete disaster for Japan

However, it may lead to countries actually reducing the scale of useless shit they build and make it purposeful instead
 

BaseballJones

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It totally blows when Covid ruins an Olympic dream. It's one thing if the athlete isn't vaccinated - you think, okay, you didn't protect yourself. But when an athlete is fully vaccinated and has been, like a lot of WNBA players, following pretty strict protocols for a LONG time now, and they STILL get it....man that sucks.
 

Fred not Lynn

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I'm with you, but I'm of the mind that this is going to end up as a complete disaster for Japan

However, it may lead to countries actually reducing the scale of useless shit they build and make it purposeful instead
What we’re going to learn is that the Olympic Games are first and foremost TV show, and the venues are TV studios. Instead of building all those churches for Easter Sunday, maybe we can segue to building long term economically viable sport facilities for the community, especially those for the oddball sports.
 

Ale Xander

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What we’re going to learn is that the Olympic Games are first and foremost TV show, and the venues are TV studios. Instead of building all those churches for Easter Sunday, maybe we can segue to building long term economically viable sport facilities for the community, especially those for the oddball sports.
“Going to learn?”
Wrong tense for anyone paying attention. This has been true since Barcelona and the arrow in ‘92
 

bsj

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Tokyo 2020 chief Muto does not rule out 11th-hour cancellation of Games
TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - The head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee on Tuesday did not rule out a last-minute cancellation of the global sporting showpiece, which starts on Friday.

https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/tokyo-2020-chief-muto-does-not-rule-out-11th-hour-cancellation-games-2021-07-20/?taid=60f6b8704f7e8d0001f2b895&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

The biggest mistake in Olympics history was not moving this thing to 2022. They will either happen and be a weird bastardized version of the games, or get scrapped. Oiy.
 

Bowhemian

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Not that it really matters, but "bubble broken" is not what they said. From the article:
t's obvious that the bubble system is kind of broken
That said, I am of the opinion that it was a stupid idea to invite people from dozens of countries to one geographic area in the middle of a pandemic. That is just inviting a huge outbreak.
And when those people go home, many of them will be bringing the 'vid back with them.
 

joe dokes

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Tokyo 2020 chief Muto does not rule out 11th-hour cancellation of Games
TOKYO, July 20 (Reuters) - The head of the Tokyo Olympics organising committee on Tuesday did not rule out a last-minute cancellation of the global sporting showpiece, which starts on Friday.

https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/tokyo-2020-chief-muto-does-not-rule-out-11th-hour-cancellation-games-2021-07-20/?taid=60f6b8704f7e8d0001f2b895&utm_campaign=trueAnthem:+Trending+Content&utm_medium=trueAnthem&utm_source=twitter

The biggest mistake in Olympics history was not moving this thing to 2022. They will either happen and be a weird bastardized version of the games, or get scrapped. Oiy.
If they cancel it, the IOC will make sure that Japan doesn't host an Olympics until the 34th century.
 

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What we’re going to learn is that the Olympic Games are first and foremost TV show, and the venues are TV studios. Instead of building all those churches for Easter Sunday, maybe we can segue to building long term economically viable sport facilities for the community, especially those for the oddball sports.
Or how about building none at all and simply hosting them in cities where the infrastructure already exists?
 

Quintanariffic

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So just rotate them between LA Paris Moscow and London?
Not sure they need to go THAT far, and I suspect that other cities like Tokyo (venues are all there now), Sydney and (alas) Beijing could host pretty easily as well. But yeah - the technical hosting criteria need to rise to the top as opposed to other considerations.
 

Fred not Lynn

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Or how about building none at all and simply hosting them in cities where the infrastructure already exists?
Because well designed, sustainable legacy facilities even for less well know sports are a useful community asset. The Olympic facilities you are going to waste are expensive because they’re built for the hype of the Olympic Games, with seating for tens of thousands. Modest facilities with limited spectator space are a whole lot less expensive to build, and a whole lot more reasonable to maintain.
 

Quintanariffic

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Because well designed, sustainable legacy facilities even for less well know sports are a useful community asset. The Olympic facilities you are going to waste are expensive because they’re built for the hype of the Olympic Games, with seating for tens of thousands. Modest facilities with limited spectator space are a whole lot less expensive to build, and a whole lot more reasonable to maintain.
I understand that. In practice, it is difficult for organizers to resist the desires of the IOC and IFs to build palaces to showcase sports that only get widespread public exposure once every four years.

IMO, building permanent new venues should be the exception rather than the rule it has been. Organizing a Games is a massively complex undertaking - it's not like there are permanent staff just taking the show from one city to another and following their playbook. So when you layer on construction projects of any scale to that endeavor, it's a recipe for trouble.
 

Fred not Lynn

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It's not like there are permanent staff just taking the show from one city to another and following their playbook.
You’d be surprised how many people have made a career of doing exactly that…

My point is that the world still needs velodromes, luge runs, whitewater courses and speed skating ovals - but facilities built for the Olympics are so overbuilt that the general public thinks any time you build one it’s destined to be a white elephant.

What IOC and the international sports federations need to do is stop insisting on these cathedrals of sport, and make Olympic organizers come up with modest, sustainable venues as modeling for the sort of facility that can effectively grow their sport globally.
 

Quintanariffic

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You’d be surprised how many people have made a career of doing exactly that…

My point is that the world still needs velodromes, luge runs, whitewater courses and speed skating ovals - but facilities built for the Olympics are so overbuilt that the general public thinks any time you build one it’s destined to be a white elephant.

What IOC and the international sports federations need to do is stop insisting on these cathedrals of sport, and make Olympic organizers come up with modest, sustainable venues as modeling for the sort of facility that can effectively grow their sport globally.
I agree with all of that. I'm just not sure the incentives are there to make it a reality.

In terms of staff, I know there is a whole industry of consultants/individuals in the OLY world who work across multiple Games, and that's helpful/critical for specific roles. But in any OCOG, 95% of the employees are doing this for the first time - there's no institutional memory.
 
There will be positive tests, and there will be people who unfortunately have to abandon their Olympic dreams. Heck, we've apparently had a close contact situation for one of our commentators here, who has now had to quarantine. But this show is going on - they're not going to cancel it now - and now that the Games are officially underway, people are for the most part going to focus on the actual sport. Remember: every Olympics is going to be a disaster, right up to the point that they actually aren't. (Anyone remember Zika from four years ago?)
 

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I was watching them do the Japanese carpentry then the NBC feed just decided to stop broadcasting it for free. Sure I could get peacock for $4.99, but I could also just watch the replay on youtube.

All these mega conglomerates suck ass.
 

Ale Xander

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These opening ceremonies are pretty lame. Even worse with no one in the stands. Seems odd they are still under 25% fully vaccinated.
Saw them this morning. I liked the uniqueness of this one. I think it’s more that the NBC coverage sucked of the parade of nations. Tiroco fails to bring the know it all yet deprecation and georgraphy lessons of Costas.
Guthrie is a step down from Couric too.(plus it’s longer this year with more nations than before)
There was a nice (but maybe corny and cliche) touch I’m the second half (after the PoN) that I won’t spoil. And Bach was responsible for a very nice gesture that had me in tears.
 

Average Reds

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Remember: every Olympics is going to be a disaster, right up to the point that they actually aren't. (Anyone remember Zika from four years ago?)
This is the kind of wishcastingly-bad false equivalency ("Every Olympics starts badly and they all work out!") that leads to epically bad decisions. Like holding the games while a pandemic fires back up in a nation where the vast majority of the population isn't vaccinated.

The games will almost certainly be completed - the IOC is an authoritarian institution and they have decreed it to be so - but there is no scenario where I can see them described as a success.
 

johnmd20

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I was watching them do the Japanese carpentry then the NBC feed just decided to stop broadcasting it for free. Sure I could get peacock for $4.99, but I could also just watch the replay on youtube.

All these mega conglomerates suck ass.
It really is fucked up when a company wants to charge you to use their product which costs money to get the rights to and produce.
 

mpjc

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Seems odd they are still under 25% fully vaccinated.
I think there are a few possible influences on the low vaccination rate in Japan:
- There's a long-standing suspicion of vaccines (due in part to past experiences).
- That also led to demands for additional testing, which delayed roll-out.
- The reported relatively low COVID death rate in Japan, at least early on, may have bred complacency.
- The central government has relatively weak emergency powers (although specific COVID emergency measures were passed in February).
 

Ale Xander

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No/almost no fans is a huge existential challenge to calling an Olympics successful. Rowing, it doesn’t matter. But Beach Volleyball or Basketball or Swimming or Track it’s rather important.
 

Seels

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It really is fucked up when a company wants to charge you to use their product which costs money to get the rights to and produce.
It aired earlier in the day and was already on youtube in full.Who in their right mind would pay to watch it at that point?
 

johnmd20

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Not for everyone
But anyone can watch Peacock for free — all you need to do is download the app. All of its Olympics programming will be available to stream on its free tier (with one big exception), though viewers will have to create an account to log in. And that one big exception? U.S. men’s basketball games will only stream on Peacock’s Premium tiers (though they’ll also air on TV).
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-to-watch-the-tokyo-olympics-for-mostly-free-11627003608
 
No/almost no fans is a huge existential challenge to calling an Olympics successful. Rowing, it doesn’t matter. But Beach Volleyball or Basketball or Swimming or Track it’s rather important.
I agree. But I watched quite a few different sports yesterday even in addition to my softball, and I was enjoying it with or without fans. And I don't think I'll be alone in that - these are still Olympic athletes we're watching, and their stories don't really change just because fans can't watch them in person.
 

Ale Xander

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Oh yeah. You can still enjoy it as a fan but have the “Olympics” be a failure. I’ve been watching straight since 7:45am other than bathroom and food and water breaks
 
You can still enjoy it as a fan but have the “Olympics” be a failure.
It depends how you want to define success and failure, of course. Personally, I think that an Olympics which people watch in significant numbers relative to previous Games, which can't fairly be blamed for causing super-spreading of COVID, and in which the number of teams/players who have to be disqualified on account of contracting COVID is relatively minimal would have to be called a success - certainly relative to the potential alternatives, and particularly given the sunk costs involved at this point. And that scenario is definitely in play. (Cancelling the Olympics at the 11th hour and having all of the athletes' and organizers' preparations go totally to waste would have been an unquestioned failure in its own right, wouldn't it?)