Japan has lost far more than it will gain from the Olympics

Japan had hoped that Tokyo 2020 could make their country accessible in a way it had almost never been. All that is lost, and the next such opportunity will not come around very soon, writes Mary Dejevsky

Friday 23 July 2021 00:58
<p>It cannot even be absolutely guaranteed that the games will run their full course</p>

It cannot even be absolutely guaranteed that the games will run their full course

Nine years ago this week, London was on the verge of hosting the summer Olympics. Where there might have been excitement, however, first there was foreboding.

I know this, because I had spent months arguing in print and on the airwaves in favour of London 2012: to little avail! The doom-mongers were in the ascendant. If anything could go wrong, it surely would. London would be gridlocked – or no one would come. The facilities would be unequal to the occasion; Team GB wouldn’t win any medals. It would rain (which it did for the first couple of days). And when the army had to be called in at the last moment after the security company G4S suddenly admitted it couldn’t recruit enough staff, it looked as though a lot of the pessimism was justified.

Then came the opening ceremony (with the Queen “parachuted” in and the NHS beds), and “Super Saturday” with Team GB’s unimagined success, and the rest is, well, history.

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