Tokyo Olympics 2021: Japan to Deal With Another Virus Outbreak Ahead of Olympics’ Start

Published 07/05/2021, 2:45 AM EDT
The Olympic Rings monument is seen outside the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) headquarters near the National Stadium, the main stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan June 23, 2021 on the day to mark one month until the opening of the Olympic Games. REUTERS/Issei Kato


The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the Tokyo Olympics by an entire year. Not only did the Olympics suffer, but tournaments like the UEFA European Championship and other sporting tournaments suffered a huge delay. Unfortunately, the Tokyo Olympics 2021 might have another virus outbreak to deal with.

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Equine outbreak amongst horses a cause for concern at Tokyo Olympics 2021

TOKYO, JAPAN – MARCH 25: A boat sails past the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Rings on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Following yesterdays announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, IOC officials have said they hope to confirm a new Olympics date as soon as possible. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Although it won’t affect athletes, coaches or fans, an equine virus outbreak is still a massive cause for concern. A competition in Valencia, Spain became the epicentre of an equine herpes virus that ran rampant through the European continent.

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The threat of the virus was so heavy that the option to strike equestrian from the Tokyo Olympics loomed large. However, the FEI sought another option and cancelled over 78 tournaments in the run-up to the Olympics, all of which took place in Europe.

The veterinary director of the FEI, Goran Akerstrom commented on the issue. “The Games were just five months away and everyone had a deep concern over that. It was an extreme outbreak. It was hard and it would have been difficult to continue with it (for longer) but the measures stopped the outbreak.”

Despite the troubles, the Tokyo Olympics 2021 will carry on with guidelines in place. With the deaths of twenty horses because of this outbreak, both athletes, grooms and the committees will proceed with caution in Tokyo.

Star athletes litter equestrian field

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 10: (BROADCAST – OUT) Equestrian, Phillip Dutton of the United States poses for a photo with his bronze medal on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The equestrian games at this year’s Summer Olympics have the potential to be the most exciting so far. Veterans and legends of the sport return to hallowed ground while fresh faces look to make a stunning first impression. With France, Germany, Great Britain sending full teams to Tokyo, this battle that will go down to the wire.

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ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 20: Charlotte Dujardin of Great Britain riding Mount St John Freestyle competes during Day 2 of the Dressage Grand Prix Team Competition at the Longines FEI European Championship presented by Rabobank at Foundation CHIO on August 20, 2019 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images for FEI)

Charlotte Dujardin, one of the most dominant athletes in dressage, will grace the Olympic stage for the third time. Having clinched gold in both London and Rio, she will look to extend her winning streak in Tokyo. However, Germany’s Isabell Werth will try to keep her in line. She will defend her title as the most decorated athlete in Olympic equestrian.

With names like Andrew Hoy, Phillip Dutton and world #1 Oliver Townend gracing the eventing stage for Australia, USA and Great Britain respectively, we will witness the legends of the sport clashing with fresher faces to determine who is better. As for show jumping, the US team looks dead set on clinching gold, but 2016’s champions France will try to outclass them.

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Nathan Fulgado

1210 articles

Nathan Fulgado is a WWE and AEW author at EssentiallySports. Having published close to 1000 professional wrestling articles, Nathan is currently pursuing his Journalism degree from Xavier's College. He has previously worked at Free Press Journal as a local journalist.

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