Will the virus finish the five-ring circus off?

One positive outcome of the false pandemic panic: it may cost Tokyo this summer’s Olympic Games.

The event, previously planned for the summer of 2020, was postponed for a year amid the Covid-19 fears, but now, an overwhelming majority of Japanese population prefers either another delay, or scrapping the games altogether. The latest figures are conclusive: four out of five (80 per cent, if you wish) of Japanese people polled on the subject said they need Olympic Games like a dead man needs a winter coat (or words to that effect).

Needless to say their views sound rather logical. And not only because of the artificial worldwide pandemic pandemonium. That, as a reason in and of itself, would be obvious: oh yes, we are going to spend another untold billions to prepare for the event, and then some Big Pharma accountant will say the vaccine profits haven’t met expectations yet, let’s announce yet another wave of the disease, and who’s going to guarantee we’d get our money back?

The Japan Press Research Institute asked about 3,000 people aged at least 18 for their views. Of course, as a sample it’s not really too convincing: as of Saturday, January 23, 2021, Japan had 126,257,867 citizens. But still, it seems the Japanese don’t like being robbed out of their minds for causes as nebulous like Olympic Games.

Shifting views

An interesting trend: in recent past, more respondents wanted the Olympics delayed rather than cancelled. Now, the ratio has changed. Those seeking cancellation have grown into a majority. Not yet an overwhelming majority, really, but that can change in a jiffy. As soon as the Japanese see more of the figures, such as the amount spent so far on sporting venues and infrastructure: $25 billion (three quarters of it out of their wallets). That happens to be $25 billion of which most has gone down the drain (and would have even if the Olympics were held on time). The claim that new facilities will remain as Olympic heritage (whatever that is supposed to mean) has been proven false again and again in the aftermath of previous Olympic Games anywhere in the world.

Economic case studies are unanimous in their conclusions: international sports bodies demand that potential hosts build new facilities whenever they are awarded the hosting duty. Governments (read: taxpayers) pay for the extravagant spending sprees ten times out of ten, private corporations that own the land and/or do the actual building get rewarded, and if an ordinary Mary or Joe Public wants to use, for example, the new speed-skating oval once the Games have ended, tough luck. Only accredited (professional, that is) speed skaters are allowed in.

Some of the Japanese feel that another delay or cancellation would mean all of the money spent thus far was an utter waste of time and resources. A point well taken. But it equals crying over spilt milk. They should have stopped their sporting events promoters (and their government) much earlier. They should have been outraged when these promoters began pushing to be awarded the hosting duties.

Of course, the government of Japan has denied it ever thought of cancelling the games, contrary to rumours that the only thing they were looking for was a “face-saving” way of doing it. Considering that no rumours are believable until and unless they had been denied officially, this denial sounds ominous.

Of course, another set of rumours became rampant soon after the denial had been made public: Japan would be a front-runner to host the Olympic Games in 2032, the first available slot on the agenda (the 2024 games have been awarded to Paris, and the 2028 event should take place in Los Angeles). Tokyo is hoping to be awarded the 2032 games “out of sympathy.”

Abstain

Here’s what the Japanese (and everybody else who wants to host Olympic Games) should do: forget about it.

Put bluntly and openly: Olympic Games, just as any other top sports events, haven’t got much to do with sports as such. They are, and always have been, a business.

When the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin restored the movement in 1896, his claim to fame included such unsubstantiated statements as he would be bringing the fame of the ancient Greek Olympiads back to their deserved fame.

Except: the reason was much more trivial. French aristocrats were bored stiff during their leisurely summers, spent mostly at Côte d’Azur (French Riviera). Jet travel didn’t exist then, so, there were no jet sets. And, besides, how can you not become bored with your days when your nights are filled with debauchery again and again, giving you tough hangovers next mornings? Unrestrained merrymaking only takes you so far. And then what?

The traditional lack of brotherly love and mutual respect between the French and the English notwithstanding, Baron de Coubertin summoned British blue-bloods to take part: if anyone knew how make rules that would look perfectly fair and frightfully sporting, it would be them.

That’s what caused the original demand for amateur status, too. A professional athlete ranked as a Prince? Fi donc (equals yikes in everyday English). A Prince employed as a professional athlete? Another fi donc for you.

A couple of four-year Olympic cycles, masses of the unwashed took note and decided to join the fun. That’s when the amateurism rule would come in handy.

Then came the year 1936 and the games in German capital, Berlin, with German Chancellor, Adolf Schickelgruber, a.k.a. Hitler, presiding. That’s when nationalistic propaganda value of this event became a central focus.

It would be also the first occasion for the so-called Olympic torch relay. No such drivel existed in ancient Greece. Yes, there may have been torches in the many areas athletes used for post-competition entertainment, such as orgies, but running with torches all over the world, that’s a typically Teutonic tradition (just check out some of the Wagner operas). The new German ceremony included the charade with the last runner’s identity remaining a closely guarded secret. The first final runner was an activist with Hitlerjugend, as sporting an organisation as any.

There’s not much need to analyse the august Olympic movement much deeper. Suffice it to say that it has become a highly politicised sinecure that helps the rich become richer by being a leech that sucks taxpayer money like there’s no tomorrow.

To sum it all up: the Japanese would save themselves a ton of concern and huge loads of money if they bid the Olympic overlords their hearty arigatou gozaimasu (thank you), and wave their arms in their typical sayonara (fare thee well) gesture.

Should that happen, the rest of the world would owe the Covid-19 scaremongers one huge vote of gratitude, combined with a sense of great relief.

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