In search of gold: On Tokyo Olympics

  • IASbaba
  • July 23, 2021
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  • GS-2: International Events

In search of gold: On Tokyo Olympics

Context: Olympics is set to begin, after a year’s delay imposed by the pandemic’s shadow. 

  • ‘Tokyo 2020’, as the Olympics is branded for the latest edition, will commence at Japan’s capital on 23rd July while COVID-19 protocols are in place.

Uniqueness of Tokyo 2020 Olympics

  • These are also the greenest of Games — medals are made from discarded mobile phones and the cardboard beds for athletes will get recycled into paper products after the event. 
  • The unique two flag-bearers rule — male and female — is a move towards gender parity.
  • The inclusion of new sports like skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing at Tokyo is a watershed decision with the potential to change the way Olympians look forever.
  • This id first global gathering since the pandemic. As many as 15,000 athletes and 5,000 plus support staff and officials from 200 countries will fly in and out of Tokyo. 

Games held despite many challenges

  • Further Postponement is unviable. International Olympic Committee fears missing out on the billions plus the scrapping of this edition might escalate the existential fear of the Olympic movement.
  • Local approval ratings for the Games now stand at the half-way mark, a considerable improvement especially after an 83% opposition as recent as May. 
    • The protesters are worried that with so many people coming in from different parts of the world it will increase the risk of spreading the virus further.
  • Dangers of Coronavirus: Even two days before the start, there were whispers of cancellation as the coronavirus graph linked to the Games and to Japan revealed an upward climb. 
    • Within the Olympics Village ecosystem of athletes, coaches, officials and volunteers, around 70 have tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Even if Tokyo 2020 remains secure inside the bio-bubble, the virus will remain the all-pervading protagonist of this Summer Games.

India and Olympics

  • India has a mere 28 medals to show despite turning up since 1900. 
  • India’s initial share came from hockey but even that tap has run dry since the gold at Moscow in 1980. 
  • Over the years and through diverse sports such as shooting, tennis, badminton, wrestling, boxing and weight-lifting, India has earned a few medals. 
  • This time around, the pursuit to better the best-ever tally of six, gained at London in 2012, continues. 
  • A sobering truth is that the demographic-dividend of being the second most populous nation, does not really convert into a better yield in multi-event.


For a weary world forced indoors, a successful Games will touch off hopes of a future of normalcy and the outdoors.

Connecting the dots:

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