Washington/Beijing/Seoul/Paris, Aug. 8 (Jiji Press)–The world’s eyes were on the Tokyo Olympic Games, both bright and dark sides of the event, which was held after being postponed for the first time in Olympic history due to the coronavirus crisis, and are now watching how the baton is handed over to the next Winter and Summer Olympics.
“Thank you for showing what we can do together as one America, as one team,” U.S. President Joe Biden said as he praised the athletes who participated in the Tokyo Olympics from his country, in a video message released ahead of the Games’ closing ceremony Sunday.
However, the Tokyo Games did not attract the attention of people in the United States as much as past Olympics did.
The daily average number of viewers of Tokyo Olympic programs aired by major U.S. television network NBC, which has the exclusive broadcasting right for the Olympics, stood at some 17 million, nearly half of the figure for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The spread of social media has led to diversified means of access to Olympic information. Many fans in the United States knew the results of Olympic events before related TV programs were put on air.
The lower viewing rates came also as popular gymnast Simone Biles of the United States missed some Olympic events.
An opinion poll by Monmouth University of the United States showed that only 3 pct of respondents believe that the Tokyo Games attracted more attention than past Olympics and that 36 pct think people had less interest in the latest event than the previous Games.
For China, which competed with the United States over the number of gold medals, the Tokyo Olympics was a place to show its global presence.
The Global Times, an affiliate of the People’s Daily of China, quoted an athlete who participated in the Tokyo Games as saying, “Japan provided athletes great service with a variety of food, clean venues and comfortable shuttle buses.”
“We could see sanitizers and disinfectants everywhere, the dining tables have boards to separate diners, and the cardboard bed was conformable unlike the rumors suggested,” the athlete continued.
Chinese people paid attention to measures against coronavirus infections at the Tokyo Games, some six months before the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, at a time when the highly contagious delta variant began to spread in Japan.
A senior official from the organizing committee for the Beijing Games told a news conference in July that the committee is closely watching the measures taken at the Tokyo Games and will take them as a model.
Chinese media reported comments by an expert who predicted that future competitions will also be held without spectators and by another expert who said people in China will be able to watch Olympic events at venues.
On Sunday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that Japan, which had previously hosted a total of four Summer and Winter Olympics, deserves a passing mark in terms of the management of the Tokyo Games.
On Thursday, French newspaper Les Echos said in an article that the Tokyo Olympics was successful in key areas unless an accident occurs in the last minute.
French President Emmanuel Macron, whose administration plans to hold the opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics at the Seine, is making full efforts to increase the momentum to organize the event.
France’s Le Monde newspaper cast doubt on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s comment that the Tokyo Olympics has nothing to do with the recent surge in the number of new infection cases in Japan.
The Japanese government issued the fourth COVID-19 state of emergency several weeks after lifting the third emergency too soon and its vaccination program is delayed, the newspaper also said.