Ato Boldon: Olympics should be staged despite covid19 threat
TT track and field legend Ato Boldon, who agreed that the 2020 Olympic Games should not have been held last year, now believes the Tokyo Games should proceed from July 23-August 8 as the world is now more knowledgeable about the covid19 pandemic.
The games were postponed by one year because of the pandemic.
Most major sporting events were cancelled or postponed in 2020, but this year the sporting world has started to return to some normalcy.
Events this year have adjusted to the pandemic as, on many occasions, fans are not allowed to fill stadia in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus.
Boldon, a four-time Olympic medallist, will commentate at his fourth Summer Olympic Games. Last week, it was announced that Boldon will be the NBC Sports Group’s lead track and field analyst in Tokyo.
Boldon, in an interview with Newsday on Wednesday, said, “It is exciting for me (to commentate again) because as much as people are saying the Games should not happen…I think that when the Games do happen and they are going to happen I think it will be a sort of a signalling to the world that we have survived this pandemic and sport is now fully back.”
He added that he supports the Games being held, saying, “Yeah I do (agree with the decision to have the Games) because I know people who are in Japan. I have colleagues who have already been in Japan for a while and they remind me that before every Games there is always this false alarm that goes out about death and destruction and mayhem waiting at the Olympic Games.”
Boldon said situations threatened to derail the last two Olympic Games.
“In London 2012 it was terrorism. In 2016 you remember Zika…it was a whole big scare. Somebody sent me some of the headlines (with) doctors saying, ‘Nobody should be coming to Brazil, everybody is going to die from Zika.’
"I did not see so much as a single mosquito in Rio," Boldon continued. "I understand that the media sometimes has a vested interest particularly the ones who do not have the Olympic Games in their family. They have a vested interest in sometimes sounding alarm bells that are not really there.”
Boldon said Japan is putting measures in place to make the Games as safe as possible.
“It is not going to be like any other Olympics. We are not going to be able to go all over. It is going to be very strict, but I believe that the Olympics can happen and they should happen. In the same way that last year I knew they should not happen.”
Boldon said the world is now more informed about covid19.
“I was one of the first people saying (last year) I don’t see how we are going to have this Olympics when it (covid19) first started, but I think we know a lot more now and the precedent has been set with other sporting events. Yes the Olympics is the biggest, but I think it can be done.”
"Ato Boldon: Olympics should be staged despite covid19 threat"