But, as the president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach said, “there is no plan B”. And so, the organizers insisted, and nearly 80,000 athletes, officials, support staff and yes, us the media, have either arrived or will land imminently. The local vibe is mocking, to the point that one of the Olympic Games’ biggest sponsors, Toyota, has announced that it will not run Tokyo 2020-related ads. In such an environment, controversy is already rife, the same with the athletes who kneel down, the super fast super crampons, and all the others who have unfortunately become something of Olympic tradition such as doping, corruption and the status of Russian athletes, some of whom will compete but under a neutral flag .
We’ll keep you posted on all of this and, of course, the sport itself. In 16 days, in front of zero spectators, 339 gold medals will be won in 33 sports. For most athletes, many of whom endured the difficult 12-month delay, just making it to Tokyo is no small feat. Getting to the start line without testing positive or becoming a close contact will be another achievement in itself. Do that, and these Games – despite all of the above – represent the pinnacle of so many sporting careers. Reputations will be realized, amplified and shattered, and new world stars created.
Each country approaches the Olympics differently, follows different athletes and teams, and excels at different sports. Whether you are rooting for the USA team, the UK team, Australia or any other, we will be there 24/7 for all the big moments and also for the most small ones, covering everything off the pitch and on the ground. We’ll be there for Ash Barty, Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Dina Asher-Smith, Stephanie Gilmore, Kevin Durant, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Ariarne Titmus. We’ll keep you posted on new sports as well as Blue Ribbon events.
With the support of colleagues in New York, Sydney and London, our coverage includes reports and excellent writing from our Guardian team in Tokyo. Sean Ingle, Justin McCurry, Andy Bull, Barney Ronay, Tumaini Carayol, Suzanne Wrack, Kieran Pender and Tom Dart are on the pitch, as well as expert analysis through the plays of Greg Rutherford, Caroline Dubois and Ben Ryan -om athletes and coaches who have been there and done this, and Dubois is here now.
Every day, you can receive the best of the action as well as the next day’s highlights straight to your inbox via our daily newsletter. Register here. We also have a full schedule, a sliding medal table and full results. For planning, check out our Highlight Summary and Venue Guide.
But first, the opening ceremony! I’m here for all the preparation before my colleague Barry Glendenning explains the ceremony to you a little later. Please drop me a line by email or Twitter.