When the coronavirus pandemic forced Tokyo last year to delay the Summer Olympics and Paralympics to July 2021, organisers kept the Tokyo 2020 name, saying they wanted the event to be seen as a “light at the end of the tunnel.” By keeping the name, the IOC also ensured that logos, packaging, t-shirts, merchandise and broadcast chyrons remain the same — a cost-saving move for sponsors and partners. Covid-19 is still spreading but the games appear to be going ahead, in what would be the biggest world event of the pandemic era. But they are almost certain to look like no other Olympics, with a bar on spectators from abroad and uncertainty as to whether even fans in Japan will be allowed in — an unprecedented move in the modern Olympics movement that dates back to the late 19th century. (Some 600,000 foreign visitors were expected to attend last year before the postponement.) This means a financial hit for Japan, which has spent billions of dollars to host the games, but the cost could be far higher if the virus causes the first Olympics cancellation since World War II.
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