After Olympic athletes were delayed going for the gold in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the illness is affecting their plans yet again.
Tokyo Olympics President Seiko Hashimoto alerted the media about a new COVID-19 case, which infected an unidentified person “involved in organizing the games,” according to NBC News.
“I understand that there are still many worrying factors,” Hashimoto told NBC News. “Organizers must try to make sure that people will understand that these games are safe and secure.”
As Hashimoto assured the outlet, “We are sparing no efforts.”
Despite Hashimoto’s message, there has already been 44 people who tested positive, per an official list kept by organizers of the Tokyo Olympics. Furthermore, the recent spectator ban for the sports event happened amidst a “state of emergency” in Tokyo, NBC News also reported. Even though the city is facing a spike on coronavirus cases, the Olympic games will still happen.
Hashimoto commented on the lack of spectators attending the event, “It is regrettable that we are delivering the Games in a very limited format, facing the spread of coronavirus infections.”
The President of the Olympics apologized, saying, “I am sorry to those who purchased tickets and everyone in local areas.”
Amid the rising cases of COVID-19 in Tokyo, the International Olympic Committee released “significant changes” for the Olympic games. The site specifically detailed three new guidelines: mask-wearing for everyone regardless of vaccination status, social distancing among podium modules and vaccine requirements for presenters.
But that isn’t enough for everyone.
Nick Kyrgios, an Australian tennis player, chose to forgo the Olympic events due to the changes made for coronavirus.
“It’s a decision I didn’t make lightly,” Kyrgios revealed in a statement, per People, on July 9. “It’s been my dream to represent Australia at the Olympics and I know I may never get that opportunity again. But I also know myself. The thought of playing in front of empty stadiums just doesn’t sit right with me. It never has.”