Coronavirus Crisis Stalling Olympic "Host Town" Interactions

Politics Sports

Tokyo, Jan. 26 (Jiji Press)--The novel coronavirus pandemic is preventing direct interactions between athletes in the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, slated for this summer, and their "host towns" around Japan.

While some host town municipalities have taken to the internet to connect with athletes, many are facing difficulty creating opportunities for interactions as they have to prioritize infection prevention measures.

Host towns are local governments that partner with specific foreign countries to accept their athletes for training in Japan and promote their interactions with local residents.

The city of Daito, Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, held its first online event linking 19 local elementary and junior high school students with Colombian wheelchair basketball Paralympians in late November last year.

The students put questions such as "What do you find fun or difficult about (the sport)?" and "What do you want to do in Japan?" to the athletes, who are scheduled to visit Daito for training in the lead-up to the Tokyo Games.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press