This year’s edition of the Olympic Games, starting in Tokyo on  July 23, will be strangely silent and surreal. Spectators will be entirely absent, as Japan has declared a state of pandemic emergency spanning the event’s duration.

With so much risk and with much local opposition, why haven’t the Games been cancelled? Money, of course. Tokyo’s new national stadium cost $15.4bn and it must be put to use, even if the images of an empty sporting cathedral will underwhelm the worldwide TV audience. And the global broadcasting rights of $5.4bn make up 73% of the revenues of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Eighty percent would have had to be refunded if the Games were cancelled, so that was never going to happen...

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