Divers warm up prior to the men's synchronized 10-meter platform preliminary at the FINA Diving World Cup at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre in Tokyo on Saturday. Photo: AP/Eugene Hoshiko
tokyo 2020 olympics

Olympic diving test event begins in Tokyo; torch relay detour on Okinawa

21 Comments
By YURI KAGEYAMA and STEPHEN WADE

A six-day, on-and-off diving event began Saturday in Tokyo with 225 athletes from from 46 countries — but no fans.

It was not immediately clear where the athletes were staying or under what quarantine conditions, if any, they entered Japan. It’s also not clear how many staff members accompanied the divers.

Contacted by AP, Tokyo organizers said it “understands that the athletes are entering Japan based on the guidelines provided by JASF (Japanese swimming federation) and approved by FINA.”

It referred further enquires to FINA and local swim officials.

The world governing body of swimming FINA listed one of divers as former Olympic bronze medalist Tom Daley of Britain. But other divers were from various countries including Mexico, Germany, Canada, Romania, Colombia, Japan, Malaysia, Ukraine, and Russia.

The diving event is one of several tests this month — all without fans. Organizers say they will be decide in June how many fans — if any — will be allowed for the Olympics. Fans from abroad have already been banned.

In a briefing on Friday, Hidemasa Nakamura, the delivery official of the Tokyo Olympics, said the focus was on “how safely we can have the games" and not on whether they should take place in the middle of a pandemic.

Other are not so sure about allowing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into Japan.

One is Canadian Hayley Wickenheiser, a four-time Olympic gold medalist in ice hockey who just completed medical school. Wickenheiser is also a member of the IOC Athletes' Commission, and was one of the first a year ago to say the Olympics should be postponed.

“I would love to see the games happen, it would be a great message of hope for the world. But I think we always have to remember what we’re in the middle of right now," Wickenheiser said in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Wickenheiser hinted she was probably a “black sheep” in Olympic circles but added: “I don't really care.”

“I think the IOC wants to go ahead with the games no matter what," Wickenheiser said. “Part of me wants to trust that that plan is a good one. But part of me has also seen what’s happened since the start of the pandemic and I question some of the motives. There’s money, there’s power, there’s politics. . . . and a lot of ego involved.”

Torch relay detour

The Tokyo Olympic torch relay will take another detour this weekend when it enters the southern island of Okinawa.

A leg of the relay on Okinawa's resort island of Miyakojima set for Sunday has been canceled altogether with cases surging in Japan. Other legs on Okinawa will take place.

A 17-day state of emergency went into effect on April 25 in some areas in Japan, which has shut down department stores and bars in Tokyo and the country’s second largest metropolis of Osaka.

"We don’t want people from outside the island coming in. Human life is at stake,” Hayako Shimizu, a teacher in Miyakojima, told the Associated Press.

The relay, which will involve 10,000 runners from every corner of Japan, started six weeks ago and has been mostly on schedule despite major rerouting in Osaka and in Matsuyama City in nearby Ehime Prefecture.

The relay is made up of a convoy of about a dozen vehicles with sponsors names festooned on them: Coca-Cola, Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Life Insurance Co. The torch bearer follows, each running for a couple of minutes, before giving the flame to the next runner who awaits holding another torch.

The torch relay — like planning for the postponed Olympics that are to open on July 23 — is filled with uncertainty, constant changes, and questions about why it is taking place — and how it will take place.

Dr Shigeru Omi, who heads the Japanese government panel on the coronavirus response, warned a Diet committee this week that the virus is spreading and putting hospitals under stress.

Olympic organizers say they will need about 10,000 medical professionals during the Olympics, and recently officials requested an additional 500 nurses.

“The infections are definitely spreading, including in developing countries, and so it is important to thoroughly understand this situation and know there are definitely risks,” he said.

“It is time the (Olympic) organizers and others involved to be responsible and seriously start thinking about how infections are spreading, and the medical system is getting stretched thin, and then to inform the public.”

© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.


21 Comments
Login to comment

It was not immediately clear where the athletes were staying or under what quarantine conditions, if any, they entered Japan. It’s also not clear how many staff members accompanied the divers.

Why all the secrecy?

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Can't even manage social distancing at an individual event....

19 ( +20 / -1 )

It was not immediately clear where the athletes were staying or under what quarantine conditions, if any, they entered Japan. It’s also not clear how many staff members accompanied the divers.

Seriously, anybody surprised by this? I would be surprised if they actually were forthcoming with this info.

Obviously, the athletes were not quarantining. I am pretty sure I saw a bunch of them around Ginza the other day.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

Was not said that transparency was essential for people to accept the games? not giving any information about an event is not exactly transparent. It is unfortunate but cancellations, modifications, confusion have become part of the daily routine with them.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Pukey2Today  06:14 pm JST

It was not immediately clear where the athletes were staying or under what quarantine conditions, if any, they entered Japan. It’s also not clear how many staff members accompanied the divers.

Why all the secrecy?

In a free country a proper journalist would have the answer to this in a couple of hours.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Just in case.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Screw these selfish aces in the hole athletes, turn off the tv no one cares about them and their self interest for our sacrifice

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Letting these athletes & their staff in under such UN-transparent conditions STINKS to high hell!!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

*''It was not immediately clear where the athletes were staying or under what quarantine conditions, if any, they entered Japan. It’s also not clear how many staff members accompanied the divers.''*

I'm going to say that's a slam dunk, shut it all down scenario. These things should be explicitly clear!

I am beyond disgusted. Events are possible within a bubble, but Japan's Olympic Committees idea of a bubble is a burst one.

The quote above is beyond enough reason to call the whole thing off.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Mods are going crazy deleting posts! This article had over 90 commenrs and they deleted them all'

That's nothing compared to the threads on Limbaugh and Philip.

Transformed into hagiographic orgies before our very eyes and accounts suspended.

Oh, on topic... my trust in our betters has dropped several more levels.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Divers wearing masks, dumb!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

WolfpackToday  10:55 pm JST

It’s odd that the divers are not wearing masks.

Problem is, as soon as they hit the water their masks would be torn off and the surface of the pool would be covered in floating masks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Not sure if many people care anymore. The overwhelming majority of the locals favor cancelling it.

Paris 2024, LA 2028. Then give it to Tokyo for 2032.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'll be watching all the events. It has been a long year without my favorite sport.

FINA's youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZko_COpTM4_d2kPrxZfzFg - Live events

https://www.youtube.com/c/FINA1908/videos has the 10m Men's Synchro and 3m Women's Synchro Prel and SF - held earlier.

Enjoy. If you like, wear a mask while watching, to be safe.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The way individual governments proceed on vaccinations over the next few months could determine whether the Olympics unfold as a cathartic mass celebration of international sports, or a monthlong global superspreader event.

In prior national events this year, they socially distanced AND wore masks.

Neither Japanese organizers nor the International Olympic Committee will require proof of vaccination or quarantine periods for anyone attending or competing in the Games, though there will be regular testing for athletes, coaches, journalists and officials while they are in Japan.

not enough attention was being paid to the psychosocial side effects of widespread lockdowns. He said sports, in that regard, provided a healthy distraction.

Ref: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/28/sports/olympics/tokyo-olympics-vaccines.html

It is easy for athletes to wait in some countries where vaccination lines have opened to everyone over 16 yrs old, like the US. In other countries, only priority access will get their athletes vaccinated.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think one of the drivers is wearing nothing at all. The one on the left in the middle board.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The athletes go from the airport, to the hotel, to the pool. They are in a "competition bubble" - only around coaches and competitors. Very little risk to Japan.

I didn't think China or the USA are at this event. Both already earned Olympic spots from prior competition wins. Basically this event is the last "open" event to earn a place in an event for the Olympics. Without good finishes here, they won't be back in July.

When this World Cup event ends on May 6th, that day or the following day, all the foreign competitors will leave Japan. Many will head to Canada for the Grand Prix Diving competition there that starts on May 6th and finishes 3-4 days later. Grand Prix competitions are for divers not quite at Olympic standard levels, though a few Olympians typically show up for each competition. The qualifications are not as stringent to compete, perhaps the top 10% of divers in the world.

Then they are off to Malaysia, Singapore, Spain, Germany, Italy, and a few other competitions around the world before the Olympics for more GP competitions. The athletes in these events won't be at the Olympics, unless they are training in the competition city already.

In September, the higher level, World Series, competitions pick up in China, Russia, Canada then back to Australia. Normally, these would mostly happened in Feb, Mar, Apr but COVID had most of those shifted. These are invitation-only, Olympic-athlete-level, competitions.

https://www.fina.org/competitions?group=FINA&year=2021&month=latest&disciplines=DV

Many of the divers are in their late 20s now. A few over 26 will retire if they don't qualify or immediately post-Olympics if they do qualify. Diving has 4 yr cycles all around Olympic competition. Diving is basically about college scholarships and Olympic competition.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Pukey2May 1  06:14 pm JST

It was not immediately clear where the athletes were staying or under what quarantine conditions, if any, they entered Japan. It’s also not clear how many staff members accompanied the divers.

Why all the secrecy?

To avoid having hordes of protestors and media waiting outside I suppose.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It’s odd that the divers are not wearing masks.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Divers wearing masks, dumb!

I’m sorry you don’t believe in following the science - especially given the lack of social distancing. It’s actually kind of dumb not to follow the science. Pandemic’s are a serious public health issue.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

All of this Olympic sideshow stuff annoys me. Let the athletes compete, whether with an audience or not. The vast majority of us will watch it on TV, and it's only the competition that we're interested in.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites