Coronavirus Japan: Tokyo Olympics amidst Coronavirus

Coronavirus Japan Tokyo Olympics amidst Coronavirus

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been postponed due to the corona pandemic and are now scheduled to start on July 23, 2021. A total of 11,100 athletes from 206 nations will take part in the Olympics.

We answer the most important questions about the biggest sporting event in the world.

When and how long will the Olympics take place?

The Summer Olympics officially begin with the opening ceremony on July 23, 2021 and end on August 8. However, two team competitions start earlier: The softball and soccer tournaments will be played from July 21st.

The torch relay is scheduled to begin on March 25th in Fukushima and will last 121 days across Japan.


Where are the Summer Olympics taking place?

The Japanese capital, Tokyo, is the venue for the Summer Olympics.

The focus is on the Olympic Stadium or National Stadium, which was only opened in December 2019 and offers around 68,000 seats. The construction costs amounted to around 1.1 billion euros. The opening and closing ceremonies take place here, as well as the athletics competitions and the women's soccer final.

Most of the competitions take place eight kilometers around the Olympic Village. The organizers differentiate between the so-called Heritage Zone in the north, in which, for example, the Olympic Stadium is located, and the Tokyo Bay Zone in the south. Among other things, the Sea Forest Waterway can be found there - the regatta course in rowing and canoeing.

The largest arena of the Olympic Games is the International Stadium Yokohama with 72,000 seats. The stadium is the venue for the men's soccer final. The final between Germany and Brazil at the 2002 World Cup took place in this arena.


How many hours is the time difference to Tokyo and what does that mean for us viewers?

Japan is seven hours ahead of German summer time. That means: For the German fans, the competitions usually take place very early in the morning or in the middle of the day.

A few examples: The opening ceremony will start on July 23 at 1 p.m. German time. The men's 100-meter final, which is one of the highlights of the Olympics, will take place on August 1st between noon and 3pm.

The finals in tennis will be played on August 1st between 5 a.m. and 1 p.m. The men's soccer final will take place on August 7th at 1:30 p.m.


Which broadcaster broadcasts Olympia on television?

The American media company Discovery - the parent company of the European sports channel Eurosport - secured the broadcasting rights for Europe. The broadcaster announced that it would show "every minute of the Olympic Games live". All channels of distribution (TV, live stream, online and social media) should be used for this purpose.


The ARD and ZDF secured a sub-license and are therefore also transferred a large part of the Summer Olympics.


Will spectators admitted to the Olympics?

This should only be decided in spring. IOC President Thomas Bach was confident that there would be a "reasonable number" of fans at the competitions.


Japan would also like to let foreign viewers into the country "to a large extent". Due to the pandemic, however, this should only be possible under certain conditions - for example, a negative Corona test and the use of a Corona contacts app.


Which sports are new?

A total of 339 competitions in 33 sports and 51 disciplines are held at the Olympics. The returnees include baseball for the men and softball for the women.


Baseball and the very similar softball are among the national sports of Japan and should therefore spark a great deal of interest in the host country. The two sports were no longer part of the Olympics for the past twelve years.


Basketball at the Olympics is expanded to include a 3x3 variant in addition to the typical 5-on-5. This form of play takes place in the open air and is similar to streetball. The two teams, each consisting of three players, only play on one basket.


Karate is represented for the first time ever at the Summer Olympics. Sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing are also new.