Post-Corona Olympic Games
So, a few months ago, I wrote a blog post about the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games postponement (Tokyo 2020 in 2021). And today I’m going to present you with a brief analysis of how the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 event organisation team are planning to stage this POST-CORONA Games edition.
Firstly, I think it’s quite evident that several operational aspects and methods of the Olympic Games and the whole event’s industry have been affected, because of the pandemic. As a result, of such uncertain times, this industry has been forced to re-imagining itself, changing its delivery from physical to digital methods, for example.
However, even with such a problematic and complicated situation, there are a few strategies one can use towards delivering an in-person event. For instance, making the use of a mask mandatory inside any venue, having social distancing and reducing the number of spectators allowed within a venue.
The interesting question, in this context, is what measures and strategies exactly are the IOC and the Olympic organisation thinking of implementing?
Well, before answering this question, I think we should discuss a little bit of what this virus means. And, to explain that we should analyse what factors the event organisation should take into consideration.
Firstly, every country has been dealing with this pandemic in different ways. Thus, meaning that strategies to tackle the virus differ from region to region. And for an organisation trying to stage an international event, with people all over the world, this factor is of crucial importance. Therefore, the organisation should think of a way to educate not only the attendees but also the participants, with the rules and measures that best fit the whole Olympic vision. Just like a country has its own standards, Olympic areas and venues have theirs.
The second-factor one should take into consideration regards the fact that this virus has different mutations (ScienceDaily, 2020). That means the virus ‘might be changing as it passed from person to person‘ (Callaway, 2020). Just to clear a popular myth, some studies have stated that a few mutations could be more transmissible and dangerous than others; however, these have been completely disregarded (ScienceDaily, 2020). According to Callaway (2020), ‘no one has yet found any change in SARS-CoV-2 that should raise public-health concerns‘. All of this is of crucial importance, as the organisational team should keep a close eye to the latest research on this matter. Simply, because the event is trying to bring people all over the world together, and I think no one really wants to make this situation worst.
Having this in mind, the IOC and Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (TOCOG) held a meeting on the 25th of September, dedicated to strategising.
As the IOC (2020) has stated, postponing a mega-event for the first time in history ‘will require flexibility and creativity from everyone involved.’
This meeting aimed at designing 50 measures to maximise cost savings and increase efficiencies in Games delivery. Thus, categorising these by stakeholders, infrastructures, promotion and other areas of interest (IOC, 2020).
In terms of stakeholders, the Olympic organisation will have to revise the Host City Contract (HCC), which has to be agreed on and signed by all the parties involved (Tokyo 2020, 2020). That is because some conditions have to be replaced and rethought. Just like making all the participants take a test, to make sure there is no one infected.
New rules and policies to guide and manage the flow of attendees and participants throughout Olympic areas and venues have to be set up. Essentially, towards minimising the possible transmission of the virus. Along with, making sure the same venues will be available in a year, to stage the Games, without a lot of additional costs.
Now, promotion is a tricky area, as, within Olympic zones, sponsors have designated areas where they can promote their products. And because of the virus, these places need measures of social distancing and protection of visitors.
So, analysing all these changes, we conclude on some points:
- The Olympic organisation should keep in close contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO), towards making sure the necessary conditions are in place to have a safe delivery.
- In these uncertain times, flexibility and creativity are keywords for any team trying to come up with ways to stage an event.
- Keeping all the stakeholders involved informed, regarding what is being planned and what measures will be implemented is crucial.
- Designing several measures and educate everyone in a mega-event to follow these is key to have a safe delivery.
Callaway, E. (2020). The Coronavirus Is Mutating — Does It Matter?. Nature.com. [online] Available from: <https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-02544-6> [18 October 2020].
IOC (2020). IOC And Tokyo 2020 Agree On Measures To Deliver Games Fit For A Post-Corona World – Olympic News. [online] Available from: <https://www.olympic.org/news/ioc-and-tokyo-2020-agree-on-measures-to-deliver-games-fit-for-a-post-corona-world> [18 October 2020].
ScienceDaily (2020). The Six Strains Of SARS-Cov-2. [online] Available from: <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200803105246.htm> [18 October 2020].
Tokyo 2020 (2020). Tokyo 2020 And IOC Executive Board Discuss Simplification And Optimisation For Games Fit For A Post Corona World. [online] Available from: <https://tokyo2020.org/en/news/tokyo-2020-and-ioc-executive-board-discuss-simplification-and-optimisation-for-g> [18 October 2020].