Tokyo: Olympics Like No Other With An Olympic Village To Participate Sports News

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By STEPHEN WADE, AP Sports Writer

TOKYO (AP) – The Tokyo Olympics, delayed by a pandemic, will be like no other when it opens on July 23. And they will have an idiosyncratic Olympic Village that can keep up.

Start with the aptly named “Fever Clinic,” a prefabricated complex of isolation rooms in the sprawling village on Tokyo Bay. Here athletes or employees who are suspected of carrying COVID-19 are carried out PCR tests.

It’s a place nobody wants to visit, unlike the huge dining room, the fitness center or a special “casual dining area” that serves famous Japanese dishes from okonomiyaki (a hearty pancake) to rice balls and teppanyaki (cooked dishes) be on an iron grill).

Athletes are tested daily in the village after being tested at least twice before leaving home and again upon arrival. Any test anomaly in the village could fall into the hands of Dr. Bring Tetsuya Miyamoto, executive director of the organizing committee’s medical department.

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“If they test positive, they’ll be brought here,” explained Dr. Miyamoto, while he was standing in front of the metal-gray walls of the clinic during a media tour on Sunday.

“That person will have another series of tests that will take a sample of the lining of the nose. Then we analyze the nasal mucosa test and confirm whether this person is really infected or not. “

In this case, patients who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms are transferred to an “isolation hotel” outside the village. The seriously ill is transferred to a hospital.

“We hope there won’t be that many people,” said Dr. Miyamoto. “Of course the number of people will be different. This is an infectious disease that we are talking about. She has the possibility. ”Of spreading. As soon as that happens, the numbers could explode. “

The village is a gigantic, somewhat inconspicuous collection of newly built apartment blocks in Tokyo Bay that will be sold for occupancy after the end of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The village officially opens on July 13th, just 10 days before the start of the Olympics. Athletes must wear masks in the village – even if they are vaccinated – and be constantly warned with signs against social distancing, hand washing and ventilation of room areas.

The International Olympic Committee has said that more than 80% of the village’s residents will be fully vaccinated. This is in contrast to the Japanese population, where around 6-7% are fully vaccinated, while the slow adoption is now accelerating.

More than 14,000 deaths in Japan have been attributed to COVID-19, numbers good by international standards but not as good as other Asian neighbors.

The village consists of 21 residential towers with 14 to 18 floors with a total of 3,600 rooms. They are equipped with 18,000 beds, known to have disposable cardboard frames and spartan furniture.

Apartment sizes vary from 110 square meters (approximately 1,200 sq. Ft.) For eight people to smaller units. Officials said the teams will decide how many athletes sleep in the rooms and will likely distribute them if possible.

About 11,000 athletes are expected for the Olympic Games and 4,400 for the Paralympics, which open on August 24th. Arrivals are staggered and athletes are asked to arrive as late as possible and leave almost as soon as possible once they have finished the competition.

The two-story dining area will be fitted with plastic panels to separate the guests. Self-service has been largely used in previous Olympics, but food in Tokyo is only served by chefs and waiters. Officials say guests can choose from around 700 options.

The athletes are allowed to get their own refreshments from a huge fridge. But officials say the metal handles will be covered with “anti-virus film”.

The official cost of the Tokyo Olympics is $ 15.4 billion, but government reviews suggest it is double that. All but $ 6.7 billion are public funds. The IOC contributes approximately $ 1.5 billion to the total cost.

The IOC pushed ahead with these Olympics, which have met with broad opposition in Japan, in part because it would lose $ 3 billion to $ 4 billion in broadcasting revenue if the Games were canceled.

Officials on the Sunday tour reaffirmed the alcohol policy in the village.

Drinking alcohol will be prohibited in public places in the village, including parking areas. Takashi Kitajima, the village’s general manager, said the athletes could only drink in their rooms.

“If you drink alcohol, you will be asked to drink alone,” he said.

The organizers are distributing 150,000 condoms in the village. However, Kitajima said they were distributed primarily to “raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.”

“So the purpose of distributing condoms is not to (only) use them in the village, but to ask the athletes to get involved with the problem by bringing the condoms back to their countries.”

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