The pandemic also stopped controls for a year, especially in Russia and China. Beach volleyball athletes burn their feet. It could be better: it could rain
There had never been one Olympic where you fear most to be found positive before the races, and not after. And there may not even be an edition of the Games hotter than this that Friday 23 July will begin, between moans and complaints from athletes and sponsors.
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The exhibition stands will remain closed, merchandising does not exist. The puppets of the mascot presented two years ago are sold at a price of balance in tourist curio shops. Everything conspires to return lead the atmosphere of Tokyo 2021, including the pneumatic vacuum of the stadiums and that of a gigantic international press center, were originally the pavilions of a fair, which was to accommodate 60,000 media operators and will now host just 15,000 if all accreditations are confirmed.
The ugly duckling syndrome conspiracy to turn every drop of rain into storm warning. The obvious discovery of a first case of doping, an Australian rider positive for cocaine, was enough to start the usual collective self-dafé on the lack of controls. Good times, when the concept of positivity was associated only with doping. To remind us, we will be there on Friday sad parade of Russian athletes at the inaugural ceremony. Without flag, without the name of the nation on the shirt and without anthem, however, replaced by a piece from Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1”.
A punishment, judged mild by many observers, decided after the discovery in 2016 of a real state plan for the administration of illicit substances to its athletes. Five years ago the story caused a sensation, today it seems to belong to a remote era.
Covid has changed everythingor. In addition to slowing down our lives, it did the same with controls to the main scourge of every sport. April 2020 was not only one of the cruelest months of our lives, but also the worst ever in terms of sports controls. Out of a monthly average of 25,000 tests carried out worldwide, only 578 have been done. At least eighty nations declared that they were no longer able to use their laboratories for sports monitoring. Who thought more about the Games and doping, in that dramatic first phase of the pandemic.
Russia and China have stopped all exam collections for nearly a year, the US recognized a slowdown in activity, due to the practical impossibility of collecting and examining the samples. Scientific priorities have become other, then as now. It does not matter if in April and May 2021 the surprise tests on athletes from all over the world were 14,560 and 16,149, the two highest figures of the last twenty-nine months, it does not matter if however, it begins with 29,000 tests carried out in the last six months, when in Rio there were just 1,500 and for only seven disciplines.
This still remains the Olympics where if something can go wrong, it will. The protests of the Dutch beach volleyball athletes for sunburn from hot sand of the Shiokaze park recalled that it is very hot in Tokyo this season. Not that this is new, there will be a reason why in 1964 the first Games in the Japanese capital took place in autumn.
Uno study published since Guardianexplain how the average temperature and the maximum peak of this edition could be the hottest ever, respectively at 33.7 and 38.1 degrees. But the hottest summer in local history was precisely that of 2020, the year of the postponement. For this reason, already in 2019 the marathon and the march had been moved to the north, to Sapporo. But all this does not count, in the Olympics of our discontent. Courage in two days it really begins. It might even be better. It could rain.
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July 21, 2021 (change July 21, 2021 | 22:43)
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