Athlete concerns grow ahead of Olympics

Japan 2020

Olympic athlete Sandi Morris joined Aaron Nolan on Newsfeed Now to talk about the future of the Toyko Games. Weekdays at 11:30 a.m. EST, Newsfeed Now will be streaming the latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak utilizing our newsrooms across the country. If you miss the live report, you’ll be able to see a replay minutes after the stream ends.

TOKYO, JAPAN (KARK) – As the Olympic flame completed its difficult journey from Greece to Japan, there are growing health concerns from athletes in the amidst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sandi Morris, an Olympic pole vaulter and native Arkansan, speaking out over concerns on social media.

Morris is not the only athlete speaking out. Over the past week, athletes from across the world have been voicing their concerns over the 2020 Games.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organizers have maintain the Tokyo Olympics will open on July 24 amid a chorus of doubters who believe they should be postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“For the first time in 56 years, the Olympic torch is heading to Tokyo and I hope that the Olympic torch will illuminate the path of hope for many people,” organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori said at a scaled-down arrival ceremony at an air base in northern Japan.

Mori of course was referring to Tokyo’s famous 1964 Olympics. Tokyo was also to have been the venue for the 1940 Olympics, which were cancelled by World War II.

“We will work closely with the International Olympic Committee, the Japanese government, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government,” he said, and based on the World Health Organization’s advice, “we will ensure a safe and secure games.”

The flame will stay in northern Japan for almost a week until the torch relay begins officially on March 26.

Even if the Olympics and Paralympics don’t start as scheduled, the burning flame could be used as a symbol and a rallying point for the Japanese public.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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