“Putting People at Risk”: Naomi Osaka Believes Dates of Tokyo Olympics 2021 Should be Re-Considered

Published 05/09/2021, 1:48 PM EDT
Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Maria Sakkari of Greece (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The coronavirus pandemic is still not over yet and it has impacted tennis adversely. Fans are not able to come to stadiums even now and are enjoying the sport at their homes. The Tokyo Olympics 2021 will begin soon but there are concerns about whether it is the right time to organize the Olympics during these tough times. In a recent interview, World No.2 Naomi Osaka spoke on the matter extensively.

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Naomi Osaka mentioned that as an athlete, she would love to play at the Tokyo Olympics 2021. However, she believes that these are not the best times to play there.

“Of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen because I’m an athlete and that’s sort of what I’ve been waiting for my entire life. But I think that there’s so much important stuff going on, and especially the past year,” said Osaka in the interview.

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Naomi Osaka of Japan hits a backhand against Elise Mertens at the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Tokyo Olympics were supposed to happen last year but didn’t take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. The organizers delayed them for a year but the situation is not ideal even now. Osaka highlighted that organizing the Olympics at this time is like putting people’s life at risk. As of now, the Tokyo Olympics will begin in late July and will extend till early August 2021.

“I think a lot of unexpected things have happened and if it’s putting people at risk, and if it’s making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is as of right now,” added the World No.2 player.

“Whatever makes everyone more comfortable and more safe”- Naomi Osaka

Osaka reflected that the organizers should do whatever makes people safer and more comfortable. She stated that the environment should be safe as a lot of people will be entering the country due to the Olympic Games. She also revealed that although she got vaccinated recently, one can’t force the other to get vaccinated.

Japan’s Naomi Osaka celebrates with the trophy after winning her final match against Jennifer Brady of the U.S. REUTERS/Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

“I feel like whatever makes everyone more comfortable and more safe. There’s going to be a lot of people entering the country, so they definitely have to make the right decisions on that. I’ve gotten vaccinated. At the end of the day, you can’t force anyone to be vaccinated,” concluded the 4-time Grand Slam champion.

Naomi Osaka hasn’t had a great clay-court season so far as she lost to Karolina Muchova in the second round of the Mutua Madrid Open 2021. She’ll shortly begin her Italian Open 2021 campaign soon and fans really have high expectations from her. Will Osaka be able to prove herself on clay by conquering Rome this year?

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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