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Why the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Aren’t Allowing Athletes’ Parents to Attend the Games

Going to the Olympics is just about every athlete’s major goal in life, right? And though it’s super exciting as a fan to see their favorite Olympian-in-training moving up the ranks to get to the main stage — a feat that takes four years worth of hard work before before they even see the games — it’s even more exciting for the parents who actually go to the Olympics with their child. But sadly, this won’t be the case for the 2020 Olympics games in Tokyo, as family members and friends of athletes (as well as spectators) are banned from attending this year.

Gymnastics fans were shocked by the news this past weekend when NBC sports commentator, Mike Tirico, announced that Sunday’s gymnastics Olympics trials would be the last for friends and family to see the athletes before heading to Tokyo, which caused some concern for the underaged Team USA gymnasts.

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But the rule banning spectators from the Olympics doesn’t just apply to the USA and its gymnastics team — it applies to all international spectators and fans of every sport in the Olympics and Paralympic Games, unfortunately.

Jamie SquireGetty Images

If you’re wondering why no one will be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics, the answer is simple: They’re tying to be as careful as possible with health and safety amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Back in March, the organizers of the Olympics issued an official statement that read:

“Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Japan and many other countries around the world is still very challenging and a number of variant strains have emerged, whilst international travel remains severely restricted globally. Based on the present situation of the pandemic, it is highly unlikely that entry into Japan will be guaranteed this summer for people from overseas. In order to give clarity to ticket holders living overseas and to enable them to adjust their travel plans at this stage, the parties on the Japanese side have come to the conclusion that they will not be able to enter into Japan at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This conclusion will further contribute to ensure safe and secure Games for all participants and the Japanese public. “

There isn’t any word yet on if NBC will be doing anything special to make friends and family of Olympics athletes feel included in the games, but nevertheless, I am sure that they will be cheering them on from wherever they call home!

Starr Bowenbank Assistant News Editor Starr Bowenbank is the assistant news editor who writes about all things pertaining to news, pop culture, and entertainment — you can follow her here.

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