Coronavirus (COVID-19) Olympics Update: North Korea Won't Attend, Japan Releases Guidelines & More

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Olympics Update: North Korea Won’t Attend, Japan Releases Guidelines & More

After a year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo Olympics finally happens this summer. Check out the latest on how COVID continues to impact the festivities, the one nation so far who has bailed from participating, and how U.S. athletes prepared during the Year of COVID and into 2021. With that in mind, let’s get right to it so you can plan your bets against their Olympics odds.

Olympics COVID-19 Update – April 15th Edition

2021 Summer Olympics

  • When: July 23 – August 8
  • Where: Tokyo, Japan
  • Television / Streaming: NBC / Peacock

How will the coronavirus pandemic affect Olympic nation participation?

So far, only one nation has said they won’t participate in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The nation, North Korea, sighted the coronavirus as the reason for their non-participation.

Although North Korea declining an invite is no surprise, a deeper look reveals that Kim Jong-un and his dictatorial regime may have a point.

A story from April 14 stated that just 1% of those in Japan have been vaccinated. There’s a chance the nation has reached herd immunity. But there’s no way to tell. 

The life expectancy in Japan is 85 years, meaning there are a lot of older people who could be at risk for the disease. Those older individuals must take care once other nations arrive. 

The Olympic Committee understands this. They’ve released guidelines that should help prevent outbreaks from occurring. In addition, the host nation will have strict rules regarding attendance.

But although Japan will have as many safeguards in place as possible, some nations in addition to North Korea will get cold feet. 2020 was a lost year for many athletes in many nations. 

Some countries may not have the resources to send teams to Japan. Even if the nation wants to participate their athletes may not be in competitive shape to participate. Before July 23, more nations could join North Korea and bow out of the games. 

Will Japan change any of the 2020 Olympics particulars?

Not really. Japan has yet to say how many people will have a chance to attend events. They’re working out details on that.

As far as the marketing and everything else regarding the 2020 Olympics, Japan won’t change any of it. The medals will say 2020 Olympics, which in a way, makes sense.

On July 23, the 2020 Olympics will happen. It will happen after a delay, but it will still be the 2020 Olympics.

How have U.S. athletes prepared for the Olympics during the pandemic?

U.S. athletes are some of the most well-trained in the world. During 2020, athletes found numerous ways to stay in shape. 

Stories of boxers smashing rocks, diver’s doing flips on backyard trampolines, and wrestlers sparring with friends, are common. U.S. athletes went old-school.

But they could still be at a disadvantage. If you’re one of those Olympic handicappers who backs the U.S. in almost every sport, consider switching it up this year.

Olympic bettors won’t have access to information from Russia and China, the two nations with programs that rival the United States’. Without information, there’s no way to tell if the Russians or Chinese locked down their athletes. 

There’s probably a good chance they didn’t. So from a betting perspective, the 2020 Olympics happening in 2021 could be China’s and Russia’s time to shine.