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The Olympic torch relay is going just great

Former Japanese swimmer Aya Terakawa carries the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch during the torch relay at the Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park in Suita, after it was barred from public roads across Osaka region due to a spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.

Former Japanese swimmer Aya Terakawa carries the Tokyo 2020 Olympic torch during the torch relay at the Expo ‘70 Commemorative Park in Suita, after it was barred from public roads across Osaka region due to a spike in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
Image: Getty Images

Japan has a fire to put out.

The Olympic torch relay will only give Japanese citizens another excuse to say they don’t want the Summer Games.

Let’s start with this fact: the 2021 Olympics are tremendously unpopular in Japan. Since last year, many citizens, activists, and businesses have shown no desire for Tokyo to host an international event in a global pandemic. And who could blame them? Just last month, a poll in the Asahi Shimbun showed roughly 70 percent of respondents want the Games postponed another year or canceled outright.

As of this week, the island nation has vaccinated about 1.4 percent of its population and daily COVID cases and deaths are rising.

Reminder: The opening ceremonies are only 81 days away. Yikes.

Yet the torch relay — like the Games themselves — will bulldoze through, oblivious to the concerns raised by citizens.

The Olympic torch was lit on March 23 and the relay began soon after. But it has recently been rerouted and closed off to the public due the coronavirus. And this morning, reports of six torch relay staff members testing positive for the virus surfaced — bringing the total number of staffers infected up to eight.

All of this, by the way, for an event that doesn’t seem that necessary. I mean, what’s the point in having a parade if people can’t watch safely?

What a view.

Here’s another angle that actually shows how bizarre the torch theatre really is.

What are we doing, folks?

I’m not exactly sure why organizers are blocking this off. Maybe they actually don’t want spectators to come and contract the virus. Maybe they don’t want activists showing up to protest the event. Or maybe both. Either way, shouldn’t those concerns be grounds for Olympic organizers to rethink the torch relay?

Probably.

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