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Olympics risk athletes going home with more than medals



It is the kind of thing that can lift an entire nation and boost global solidarity. It also could be a super-spreader event. The Olympic games, already postponed from last year, are set to open on Friday. That is despite the pandemic, and the potential that this event could lead to a lot more cases of the virus. Already we have learned that some Olympic athletes, including at least one American, have tested positive for the virus inside the Olympic Village. There were already plenty of reasons to be concerned. Tens of thousands of athletes and their coaches descending upon Tokyo from all parts of the globe. Vaccinations are not required for participating athletes. An overwhelming majority of residents of Japan are not vaccinated. Doctors have advised against holding the games and more than 80% of the Japanese population want the games to be cancelled. Hosting an Olympics requires its own medical center which will be staffed with doctors and nurses pulled from hospitals where they have been treating Covid patients. Olympic volunteers aren’t guaranteed vaccinations, but are encouraged to take public transportation. It would be sad for athletes who have trained so hard not to be able to participate in the Olympic games, but holding the games during a pandemic risks the athletes going back home with more than a medal.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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