Learning English

Inspiring language learning since 1943

English Change language

English in the News

Intermediate level

Olympics '100%' going ahead, says Tokyo 2020 president

Episode 210603 / 03 Jun 2021

The story

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto is "100%" certain the Olympics will go ahead, but cautioned that the Games "must be prepared" to go ahead without spectators in the event of a coronavirus outbreak.

Useful vocabulary

spectators – people who watch events or games

wave – large number of events happening at the same time

emergency – serious situation

accelerates – increases in speed

appointed – given a position

predecessor – person who came before

competed – took part in a sporting event

assuming – starting a new position

legacy – part of history

flow – movement in one direction

outbreak – sudden occurrence of events, often related to disease

hosting – holding an event

Questions about the story...

1. How many areas of Japan are currently under a state of emergency?

2. What events did Seiko Hashimoto compete in when she was an Olympian?

3. What did Seiko Hashimoto say she wanted to be the legacy of the Tokyo Games?

4. How many people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in Japan?

5. When polled, what percentage of people in Japan didn’t want the Games to
take place?

More about the story…

What has been happening?

The delayed Tokyo Games will begin on 23 July. Japan is currently dealing with a fourth wave of coronavirus cases. 10 areas of the country are under a state of emergency.

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto told BBC Sport’s Laura Scott: "I believe that the possibility of these Games going on is 100% that we will do this." She added: "The question right now is how are we going to have an even more safe and secure Games.”

"If the pandemic once again accelerates across the world, and so it should happen that no country can come to Japan, then of course we cannot have those Games.”

Hashimoto went on to say: “But I think we have to be very careful in reviewing the current situation and deciding what to do depending on what we consider to be right."

Who is Seiko Hashimoto?

Hashimoto was appointed Games president in February after her predecessor Yoshiro Mori quit over sexist comments he made. Seiko Hashimoto, a former Olympics minister, is a seven-time Olympian, having competed as a cyclist and a speed skater.

After assuming the role, Hashimoto said she wanted the legacy of the Tokyo Games to be a society that accepted people regardless of gender, disability, race, or sexual orientation.

What challenges do the Games face?


Hashimoto said "The biggest challenge will be how we can control and manage the flow of people. If an outbreak should happen during the Games times that amounts to a crisis or an emergency situation then I believe we must be prepared to have these Games without any spectators.”

"We are trying to create as complete a bubble situation as possible so we can create a safe and secure space for people who come in from overseas as well as people who are in Japan, the residents and citizens of Japan."

No international fans will be permitted this summer at the Olympics or Paralympics, which begin on 24 August.

What is happening in Japan?

A new wave of infections began in April in Japan. The country began vaccinating its population in February and so far only about 3% of people have been fully vaccinated.

The first international athletes arrived in Japan this week. Recent polls in Japan have shown nearly 70% of the population do not want the Olympics to go ahead. On Wednesday, Japan's most senior medical adviser said that hosting the Olympics during a pandemic was "not normal".

Find out more from the original BBC news report.

The answers

1. How many areas of Japan are currently under a state of emergency?
10 areas of the country are under a state of emergency.

2. What events did Seiko Hashimoto compete in when she was an Olympian?
Seiko Hashimoto, a former Olympics minister, is a seven-time Olympian, having competed as a cyclist and a speed skater.

3. What did Seiko Hashimoto say she wanted to be the legacy of the Tokyo Games?
Hashimoto said she wanted the legacy of the Tokyo Games to be a society that accepted people regardless of gender, disability, race, or sexual orientation.

4. How many people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in Japan?
Japan began vaccinating its population in February and so far only about 3% of people have been fully vaccinated.

5. When polled, what percentage of people in Japan didn’t want the Games to take place?
Recent polls in Japan have shown nearly 70% of the population do not want the Olympics to go ahead.

Next

Learn how to use the language of news headlines in News Review.

Improve your vocabulary using real BBC News reports in Lingohack.

Latest English in the News