Canadians in Japan say Olympics should be canceled – fr

Canadians in Japan say Olympics should be canceled – fr

The Canadian Jordan Dallaire-Gagné simply wanted to be part of the biggest sporting event in the world. Working or volunteering at the Tokyo Olympics was a priority when the Montrealer moved to Japan just over a year ago.

But Dallaire-Gagné said the Games should be canceled because parts of the world are facing breaking waves of COVID-19.

Dallaire-Gagné and several other Canadians living in Japan said the sport is synonymous with camaraderie, support from supporters, full stadiums and a festive atmosphere that pervades the streets. The Canadians in Japan were eager to cheer on Team Canada in Tokyo.

The idea of ​​mostly empty stadiums with no foreign spectators seems flawed, the Canadians said, adding that the goal of governments, not only in Japan but also in countries sending their athletes, should simply be to pass the COVID-19.

“I mean, it’s just the idea of ​​participating,” said Dallaire-Gagné in an interview in Tokyo. “It’s almost a once in a lifetime event. I would have kept my ticket. I would say I was there. “

Calls to cancel the Olympics are increasing. 60 to 80 percent of Japanese residents in polls say they want the Games canceled.

The Olympics will kick off on July 23, followed by the Paralympics on August 24.

Dallaire-Gagné said it was difficult to watch the part of town that is supposed to welcome athletes because it seems to lack light and life.

“It’s like a part of town that could be used as a setting for a zombie apocalypse movie,” he said. “They’re right there. It’s so sad. “

A 6,000-member Tokyo Physicians Association also called for the cancellation of the Olympics in a letter sent last week to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa and Seiko Hashimoto, chief. of the organizing committee. .

The Olympic and Paralympic Games will involve 15,000 athletes entering Japan, whose borders have been virtually sealed for over a year.

Rebekkah Nyack, an undergraduate student at Temple University’s Japanese campus, said she was concerned about the spread of the infection if the games went ahead.

“Tokyo is such a dense city with so many people,” said Canmore, Alta. resident, who is studying international affairs.

“If there is a major outbreak, there is a higher chance that I will get (COVID-19) and people in my community will catch it.

Between one and two percent of Japanese residents are fully vaccinated, and even the elderly population is unlikely to be fully vaccinated before the Olympics end on August 8.

Foreign fans have already been banned, and Olympic organizers are expected to announce next month whether home fans can attend in limited numbers – or not at all.

Nyack said that while the Games are a “fantastic” thing that happens every four years, keeping people safe right now is much more important.

The idea of ​​largely empty stadiums is daunting, she said.

“The sense of community that sports bring – that’s a big part, isn’t it? ” she asked.

“So if you don’t have it, what’s the point?” “

Jared Parales said if the Olympics are going on, tickets are affordable, social distancing is comfortable, and every precaution is taken, he can go to the Canadian volleyball team.

The Calgarian, who lives in Tokyo, said he has seen sporting events unfold with cardboard figures filling seats, but added that it was not the same as having fans screaming and who applauded.

Ideally, he said he wanted to see the Games canceled.

“For the Olympics, a lot of people love it,” he said.

“And I love sports. I love the Olympics. I want it to happen, but I want it to happen correctly and not now. “

– With files from The Associated Press

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on May 21, 2021.


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