Travel to Tokyo? Olympic athletes, families await word on lifting restrictions

Japan 2020

TAMPA (WFLA) – Worldwide professional sports are slowly resuming as various sports leagues are attempting to find ways to play, without spreading Covid-19.

As countries struggle to get a handle on the pandemic, many are looking at Japan and the uncertainty surrounding the Olympic Games.

Currently international travel to Japan from the U.S. is restricted, leaving many to wonder if the games will still go on in 2021 as scheduled.

“We are confident that the world is going to get a handle on this within the next ten months and everything is going to be OK. I think things are starting to happen in the world of sports all over and that itself explains there is hope,” said Stephanie Dinsmore.

Her son, David Dinsmore, is well known on the diving platform and he’s considered a favorite to make Team USA in the upcoming Olympic games.

Courtesy Stephanie Dinsmore

“I’m very proud, and it’s a crazy journey. It’s been a crazy journey this whole time,” Dinsmore said this is especially true with the games being pushed back to 2021.

“He was supposed to go to Tokyo in April for the World Cup and we had purchased tickets for that. Obviously, it was postponed. We did get the hotel back, not a problem, and the plane tickets are a credit,” she said.

Dinsmore is hoping to use her credit to go to Tokyo if David re-qualifies for the World Cup. But with travel restrictions still in place, her trip is on hold.

“We’re not going to be fearful. If he goes, we go,” said Dinsmore.

“I think there’s going to be pent up demand. By the summer of 2021, people are really going to want to be getting out and traveling,” said Marian Goldberg, who runs Goldberg Travel.

Goldberg said she is helping people reschedule and plan their trips to Japan in the coming months, including one family who has already rescheduled their trip for the Olympic games.

“I think if we have a vaccine people are going to be, ‘Oh, everything’s fine now,'” Goldberg said.

Like many, Goldberg is curious to see what the demand will be like, and as a result, the prices. “Are they going to charge more? Or are they going to try to incentivize people to travel and charge less? That’s something I don’t know the answer to and I’m curious to know, as well,” she said.

A lot of those factors will likely center around what will happen with the Olympics, and if spectators are allowed to attend.

TOKYO, JAPAN – OCTOBER 13: People pass the Olympic Stadium on October 13, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Despite assurances from senior International Olympic Committee and Japanese government officials, concerns remain over whether or not the postponed Tokyo Olympics will go ahead even in 2021 as the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic continues to cause major disruption across the globe. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

“If they say limited, I would hope they would let the parents go, and the families go, as they have been with other sports,” said Dinsmore.

While everyone waits for answers, Dinsmore is staying positive and cheering on her son as he trains, with hopes of competing on the biggest stage yet. “The Olympic Committee says the torch is the light at the end of the tunnel. So I just keep thinking about that,” she said.

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