|
In this July 1, 2021, file photo, men cycle along the wall installed to close off a park being prepared for the Olympics and Paralympics Games in Tokyo. (AP Photo / Hiro Komae, File)

Surging COVID-19 cases in Tokyo have hit a two-month high that almost guarantees the Japanese government will declare a new state of emergency to start next week and continue for the duration of the Tokyo Olympics.

|
A German athlete, wearing face mask, walks past the Olympic rings display on their arrival at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Thursday, July 1, 2021. (Kyodo News via AP)

The pressure of hosting an Olympics during a still-active pandemic is beginning to show in Japan. The games begin July 23, with organizers determined they will go on, even with a reduced number of spectators or possibly none at all.

|
Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, greet each other during a five-party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin / Pool Photo via AP)

The decision comes as opposition among Japanese to holding the Games in July remains high, though may be softening, and as new infections in Tokyo have begun to subside.

|
Workers paste the overlay on the wall of the National Stadium, where opening ceremony and many other events are scheduled for the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo / Eugene Hoshiko)

This is a clear sign that Tokyo Olympic planners and the International Olympic Committee are moving forward despite public opposition, warnings about the risks of the games becoming a spreader event, and Tokyo and other parts of Japan being under a state of emergency until June 20.

|
In this May 9, 2021, file photo, a general view of National Stadium during an athletics test event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo. IOC officials say the Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23 and almost nothing now can stop the games from going forward. (AP Photo / Shuji Kajiyama, File)

Tokyo is under a COVID-19 state of emergency, but International Olympic Committee Vice President John Coates has said the games will open on July 23 — state of emergency, or no state of emergency.

|
Chinese figure skater Xu Jingyu performs her women’s single skating short program during a test event for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics at the Capital Indoor Stadium in Beijing, Sunday, April 4, 2021. (AP Photo / Andy Wong)

The State Department said Tuesday the Biden administration is consulting with allies about a joint approach to China and its human rights record, including how to handle the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. 

|
The Olympic rings are seen Monday, March 30, 2020, in Tokyo. (AP Photo / Jae C. Hong)

The coronavirus pandemic has caused organizers to postpone this summer’s Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. We discuss the delay with three Olympic athletes from the Chicago area.

|

She won back-to-back Olympic medals in the seven-event heptathlon and still holds the world record of 7,291 points in the event. We talk sexism in women’s sports and more with Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

|

The Winter Olympics begin in just two weeks, and at least one athlete from the Chicago area will be there. Meet a figure skater from suburban Carpentersville who’s been preparing for the games for 17 years. 

|
Ingleside native Daniel Dennis, pictured above in red, defeated Tony Ramos in the 2016 Olympic Trials Championship. (John Sachs / Flickr)

The torch will be lit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 2016 Summer Olympics in a little over two weeks. Meet some of the Chicago-area athletes representing Team USA.

|

A daughter of Jesse Owens, the African-American runner who dominated the 1936 Berlin Olympics, will speak at the opening of "Nazi Olympics: Berlin 1936," the Illinois Holocaust Museum's new special exhibition.

|

He's the top ranked windsurfer in the country and the first Chicagoan ever to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team. Ash-har Quraishi catches up with first-time Olympian, Bob Willis.

"American Experience"

|

Olympic hero Jesse Owens is profiled in a new PBS documentary premiering Tuesday night on WTTW11. We talk with two of Jesse Owens' daughters about his remarkable life.

  •