Let the Games Begin –  or Not

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

To be honest, I do not get very excited about the Olympics.  I must admit, however, that, for me, the excitement does build as the games progress.  I’m sure part of the reason is that there is not much to watch in the way of sports when the Olympics roll around.  With all the hours of Olympic programming, that void is certainly filled.

With less than 50 days to go before the opening ceremonies (July 23), there are serious considerations about whether the Games should be held or not:

  • Japan has actually seen four Covid surges, with the fourth now declining. May saw 7,000 cases per day; that number is now down to 3,000.
  • Much like here, until the past week or two, restaurants and bars have been closed and outdoor spectator sporting events limited to 5,000.
  • The citizens of Japan do not want the Games to happen now. Eighty-percent want the games postponed or canceled.  A petition to cancel the games garnered over 400,000 signatures.
  • There will only be local spectators if they are allowed at all. Overseas foreign travelers will not be allowed to attend.  It is estimated Japan could lose $23 billion in consumer and business spending.
  • The number of athletes, media, officials, coaches, and administrative personnel are expected to near 60,000 in number.
  • Only North Korea has withdrawn from the competition claiming they want to protect their athletes – many believe it is more about the political environment between the two countries. This withdrawal has not led to other countries following suit.
  • Only 5% of Japan’s population has been vaccinated. That number should increase dramatically with the donation of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech.
  • Athletes must have two negative Covid tests prior to arriving in Japan.
  • The athletes will live in “bubbles” that are “sterile and secure”. They cannot arrive more than five days before their competition and must leave no longer than two after their competition is completed.
  • NBC paid $7.75 billion to air the games through 2032. The company lost as much as $1 billion when the Games were postponed last year.  They claim to already have at least $1.25 billion already booked this year for advertising.  Insurance would cover their losses, but not the potential profit.  A huge void would be created in their programming schedule.

Suffice it to say, there is too much money to be made for the Games to be canceled.  They will go on and it will garner much of my summertime television viewing.  I am certain I am not alone.  “USA!”  “USA!”


  1. How much will a “small tear” lead to a giant collapse is the question the 76ers will answer in the next week or so. Joel Embiid may or may not be available in the NBA series against the Atlanta Hawks because of a tear in his meniscus.  They will win with him, but not without him.
  1. If you watch professional golf, you realize just how difficult it is to win. The competition is extraordinary, the courses are so difficult, and the mental aspect is so challenging.  Imagine having a 6- stroke lead going into the final round of a PGA tour event and finding out you tested positive for Covid.  That happened to Jon Rahm this past weekend.  He had to withdraw from the tournament.
  1. The Phillies are certainly having an up and down season so far, but, thankfully, that could be said for the entire NL East. One Phillie who is not is Rhys Hoskins.  As I write this, he is in the midst of a 12-game hitting streak with 12 home runs and 35 RBIs.  He needs some help, though.
  1. I congratulated Emmaus for winning the EPC baseball championship, their first league title since 2005. Now, I must congratulate them again – this time for winning the District XI 6A baseball championship and heading to the PIAA state playoffs.  Their last District title was also in 2005.  They will be joined by the District runner-up Parkland Trojans.
  1. The McDonald’s All-Star Football Classic will be played on June 17 at Nazareth’s Andrew Leh Stadium. We will have the game on a tape-delayed basis at 10:00pm.  Support a great cause and get out to the game.


Chris Michael About Chris Michael

Chris handles play-by-play for RCN sports events, including baseball, football & basketball games and produces/hosts the station’s 60-minute live call-in show. Among Chris’s other responsibilities include reporting on local news & sports stories, conducting “Take 5” interviews with community and political leaders, producing commercials, voiceovers and promos; and generating blog entries and videos on the internet. Click here to listen to the weekly Sports Talk podcast.

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