The 2020 Summer Olympics are finally here! Granted, they are a year late, and the host country isn’t exactly welcoming the event with open arms.
Despite polls showing that most Japanese people don’t want the Games, and with much of the country still on COVID-19 lockdown, officials are determined to go forward with a July 23rd, 2021 start date. The Olympics closing ceremony will take place Sunday, August 8th.
With much controversy and COVID-19 hovering overhead, betting on the events may be a bit tricky. Still, gamblers can find Olympic odds for teams and individual competitors on most events. There will be plenty of action with more than 10,000 athletes in contention.
- The Summer Olympics begin on July 23 for 17 days of competition.
- Athletes will be under strict COVID-19 protocols.
- Betting odds will be up for many of the 339 events.
Summer Olympics Making a Strong Comeback for 2021
The 339 events planned for the Games include some new ones. There will be 33 more than in 2016, including three-on-three basketball, freestyle BMX, and Madison cycling.
Baseball and softball will return this summer after being absent since 2008. Plus, we’ll see competitions in karate, sport climbing, surfing, and skateboarding for the first time.
Strict COVID-19 Pandemic Restrictions in Place
Japan experienced a second significant surge in pandemic cases during the spring, and Tokyo sees signs of yet another spread. So Olympic athletes will be entering an arena full of precaution.
They will be required to practice social distancing and wear face masks outside of training and competition. Plus, the committee will test them at least every four days, and they cannot compete if they test positive.
Don’t expect many fans in the stands. Spectators from other countries are prohibited, and Japan is taking a cautious approach to allowing anyone to attend events. Seiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee president, commented on just that:
We need to keep that in mind… We need to avoid that the local medical services are affected. We need to take those things into consideration before agreeing on the spectator count.Seiko Hashimoto
The Controversies Surrounding the Games
It’s not just the pandemic that’s causing issues for The Olympics this year. The hospitality sector, athletes, and even the committee president have had trouble getting The Games off the ground.
A Xenophobic Miscommunication
One hotel put up some signage to denote “Japanese only” and “foreigner only” elevators while getting prepared for the influx of people. While their goal was to control the spread of the virus, the message got interpreted by some as discriminatory. The hotel took down the signs promptly and issued a public apology.
Issues for Athletes
A statement from University of Oklahoma Men’s Gymnastics Coach Mark Williams sparked outrage in the Olympic community recently. He claimed that USA Gymnastics (USAG) refused to fund Olympic alternate Allan Bower fully and had not provided him with medical insurance.
Sha’Carri Richardson is also in the spotlight as she will not be running the 4×100 relay after testing positive for cannabis.
Tokyo Olympic Committee President Resignation
Yoshiro Mori was forced to resign his seat as the Tokyo Olympic Committee President in February after he was quoted making sexist remarks. In response to only 4 of 24 board members being female, Yoshiro said:
“If we increase the number of female board members, we have to make sure their speaking time is restricted somewhat, they have difficulty finishing, which is annoying.”Yoshiro Mori
While he tried to hold firm and claim he wouldn’t resign, the public pressure to step down proved too much. He got quickly replaced by seven-time Olympian Seiko Hashimoto, who vows to work on the gender parity issue in the future.
Can You Still Bet On the Tokyo Olympics?
There will be plenty of opportunities for betting on the Olympics. Gamblers should have access to the following:
- Live bets
Olympics Odds Are All Over The Place
One of the most popular things to bet on is the medal counts. Below are a couple of tables that lay out how the futures look right now. We expect things to change if anyone tests positive for COVID-19.
Nation With Most Gold Medals
|Russian Olympic Committee||+5000|
Nation With Most Overall Medals
|Russian Olympic Committee||+2000|
Watch The Olympics and Don’t Miss the Action!
The 2020 Summer Olympics will live in everyone’s memory, not just because they happened a year later. The event has had so many setbacks that it is hard to believe it’s finally happening. When all the odds seemed stacked against the Olympics taking place, we are just a couple of days away from the opening ceremony in Tokyo.
You can bet the happiest of all are all the athletes who have put their blood, sweat, and tears (some of them, money too) into making this dream come true. The competition will be fierce. Make sure to tune in and show your support!