TOKYO – Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics won’t have the luxury of hanging around once they’ve wrapped up their event.
No late-night parties in the Athletes Village. No nights — or early mornings — on the town.
Instead of getting to know their global neighbors, Olympic athletes will be encouraged to leave Japan a day or two after they've finished competing.
From the opening ceremony to life in the village on Tokyo Bay, the postponed 2020 Olympics will be like no other. There'll be stringent rules and guidelines — and maybe vaccines and rapid testing — to pull off the games in the middle of a pandemic that has been blamed for more than 1 million deaths worldwide.
“Staying longer in the village increases the potential for problems,” John Coates, the IOC member in charge of overseeing Tokyo preparations, said Wednesday at a briefing for the Olympics and Paralympics.
Coates was asked if athletes would be discouraged from sightseeing, or looking around the city.
“Yes,” he replied simply, a short answer suggesting these Olympics will be all business with few frills.
Coates accompanied International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach to Tokyo this week as he met Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and shored up support with key Japanese sponsors.