11,000 Athletes, No Outbreak: How the Tokyo Olympics Dodged COVID
Before thousands of international athletes and reporters even landed in Tokyo, the Olympics were seen as a horror story waiting to happen.
What’s essential in a mega sporting event—confined spaces, crowds and close contacts—also makes fertile ground for COVID-19. Apprehensive and alarmed, the Japanese public overwhelmingly opposed hosting the Tokyo Games. When the time came, everyone bit their fingernails, bracing for headlines of a mass outbreak in the Olympic Village, or even worse, an Olympic variant.
But as some 11,000 Olympic athletes packed up after two weeks of competitions, organizers breathed a sigh of relief that their worst nightmare never materialized.
Within the Olympic Village, only 32 people tested positive for COVID-19 since July 1, an infection rate dramatically lower than that of Tokyo or Japan.