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Ten Takeaways from the Very Strange Tokyo Olympics

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Ten takeaways from the very weird Tokyo Olympics

Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi / AFP via Getty Images

The Tokyo Olympics was a unique event. It took place in the middle a pandemic, with no fans, and all the participants were isolated from their world. Although many thought that the games would never begin, they are now complete. Maybe the correct word is “successful”. They are done. Here are ten lessons learned from the Olympics.

Most stories about the Olympics focused on positive COVID testing. Tokyo is keen to see them go. There was also a lot of talk about people coming to Tokyo from all parts of the world, just as there was a rise in cases. According to one expert, the Olympics could be a “super evolution event” for COVID. Are the Olympics capable of reaching the final stage? What would they do? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer was yes. COVID was not even mentioned until half-time. This mirrors what happened to professional sports during the pandemic. Everybody said it was a horrible idea and they should not have done it. Then a few games were played and everyone went back to their normal lives. Olympia has not been a great spreader and there haven’t been many positive results after week one. Although it wasn’t always easy, they made it through. The Olympics might not be so bad.

The new champion.
Photo by Lionel Bonaventure / AFP via Getty Images

Biles was expected by many to lead coverage of the Olympics. How she did it was crucial. It was her decision to withdraw from the team competition that sparked a debate about mental illness in sports. And despite all the hot opinions, the conversation turned out to be productive. Biles’ legacy could end up being just as well known for how she discussed this topic as all of her Olympic medals. In the end, it was right where it always is: on the podium of medals.

As a few people watch the last basketball match between France and the United States at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the Olympic rings are displayed on a TV set.
Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images

Although you may have enjoyed certain aspects of these games there is no doubt that many fanless events have lost a lot of joy. This lack of joy led to some poor television ratings. It’s a huge deal for NBC. But I don’t know why we should care about big companies spending enough advertising dollars to keep stakeholders happy. They won’t disappear, and if they don’t appear next year or in three years, it’s possible that you will not see them again. Bottom line, NBCUniversal says it does not impact many people’s daily lives. Peacock’s survival is not dependent on the Olympics.

It can be difficult to broadcast Olympics happening halfway around the world, without major events being broadcast in American prime-time. This is especially true if you want to launch a streaming service with high stakes that you desperately promote through these games. However, it is vital that people have the ability to access sporting events even though they are being paid billions of dollar. The viewers were unable to determine when and which channel these events were on, and if they had the right Peacock subscription level to view them. NBC complained about the “perfect storm of circumstances” that resulted in low ratings. Even the most committed viewer needed to plan his viewing strategy like he was solving a math problem. It’s no wonder that many people have given up.

Team USA celebrating with their medals after defeating Team Japan 90-75 Sunday’s women’s gold medal game.
Photo: Abbie Perr / Getty Images

All the attention has been on Kevin Durant’s men’s gold-medal winning team or the USWNT’s high-profile stumble block. But the team that won the Olympic Games was the American women’s basketball team. They won the Olympic Games for the 7th time in a row, and it happened on the last day of the game Gold. Tom Ziller, a great basketball writer, wrote: “Team USA-Women last lost in 1992 at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. Six of the 12 players in the current Team USA women’s roster were not alive the last time the team suffered an Olympic defeat. At all global tournaments since 1996 – the Olympic Games and the FIBA ​​World Championship (born the World Championship) – Team USA is 101-1. ”They are still having the time of your life.

Just leave that here #GOLDEN @usabasketball pic.twitter.com/8DK89LQaiK

– Aja Wilson (@_ajawilson22), August 8, 20,21

Protests should be the main concern before Games. They were also concerned about people outside of singing, but not enough to drown them out. But they were most concerned that athletes made political statements about the medal stand. This seemed to be a concern for the IOC more than many observers. In the end, though, it didn’t matter much. There weren’t many athlete protests and those that did happen, like Raven Saunders from the US, who placed an “X” on the silver level of the medal, were not declared by the IOC. It was only because Saunders’ mom died soon after. The only thing that made those games overtly political was right-wing American commentators. They, strangely enough, fired at Team USA.

The Olympic Stadium can be seen with rows of empty seats on the 12th Day of the Tokyo Olympic Games, which took place August 4, 2008.
Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

My friends were media members for the Olympics. It felt almost like I was making a marital visit with someone stuck at the bottom. Media representatives – who were again the only people allowed to attend that year’s Olympics – were restricted to visiting the venues and their hotels rooms. They spent 14 days in a small box, which meant they were essentially isolated. Athletes complained about the isolation. My friend said to me that the Olympics was the most lonely thing in my life. Olympic fever is a real thing.

HEY. NO RUNNING.
Photo: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Racewalking requires that you keep up a walking pace, or you will face punishment. This also means that some pedantic people can tell someone trying to win a race that their pace is too fast. Indoor monitors are now a well-known group.

A look at Sunday’s Closing Ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the Olympic Stadium.
Photo by Igor Kralj/Getty Images

As the competitors had to leave within 48 hour of their competitions’ end, flag holders and ceremony-goers were forced to go home. The entire ceremony felt more like a quick clean-up of a scene from a car accident, and less like trying to erase all memories. Tokyo Olympics will always be remembered as those Olympics. They were the ones that were strange, embarrassing, scary, and terrifying, but they got them down. Individual athletes will be able to enjoy their well-deserved glory. Everyone else would forget that this happened.

You can see the video presentation for Paris 2024 during Sunday’s closing ceremony at the Olympic Stadium.
Photo: Xavier Laine / Getty Images

This is the beauty of the Olympics. Even though it lasts only three years, the Olympics can be sustained for so long that all the bad things will fade away. The Paris Summer Games will be in July 2024. We will have (hopefully), come out of the COVID period. And in the midst a miserable presidential campaign season we are ready for the escapism of disposable inspiration that the Olympics provide. They were a disaster. There are strong arguments to say that the cost and hassle of those Olympics are not worth it. They’ll be back in three years, charming and awkward as ever. We will be delighted to have them.

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