COVID Wins Again: Olympics Bans Cheering, Advises Crowds to 'Feel Joy in Their Hearts' Instead

(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

There are times…at a concert, game, or other public event…when you want to leap to your feet, raise your cupped hands, fill your chest with air, and — with your most expressive voice — make no sound yet feel good inside.

If that’s true for you, you’re gonna love the Olympics.

You’ll relate to the audience, who’ll be doing that very thing.

Japan’s released its COVID guidelines, and this year won’t be a particularly uproarious affair.

As reported by Agence France-Presse, for one, alcohol is banned. So for attendees hoping to booze it up, sobering disappointment awaits.

Another thing: Due to germs, no autographs will be allowed.

And affection’s taking a back seat to safety: No hugging.

How about high fives? Per Good Morning America, those are getting slapped down.

Lastly, cheer-hungry onlookers will have to do with only the Christmas kind.

From Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto to reporters Wednesday:

“People can feel joy in their hearts, but they can’t be loud and they have to avoid crowds.”

To achieve that avoidance, capacity will be limited to 50%.

Festivities, Seiko insisted, “will have to be suppressed.”

That may involve organizers getting “creative” in crafting the perfect party atmosphere.

And everyone entering will have their temperature checked.

Masks will also be mandatory.

For those who don’t pass muster, no refund will be issued.

Once inside, Seiko explained, folks will be forbidden from “making direct contact with other spectators.”

I guess that rules out a Kiss Cam.

On the bright side, they’re trying to figure alternative methods of goin’ wild:

“Those are the areas where we need to be creative, and we are putting in a lot of effort to come up with a new way of celebrating.”

And the former Olympian estimates the rules will help turn attention toward the point of the games:

“In recent years when I was participating as an athlete, there were concerns that this (event) has become so huge. … This time, I feel that the true values of the Olympic and Paralympic Games are finally being discussed.”

Such a difference in audience participation may not seem so strange in the East Asian island country — an old story about touring American rock bands goes that, in Japan, they initially thought they were flopping. Acts eventually learned the subdued audience was simply showing respect.

We do things a little differently in the States:

And we’re definitely into interaction and high fives:

By contrast, last year, a Japanese theme park asked rollercoaster riders to scream only in their hearts:

In The Land of the Rising Sun, COVID’s alive and well. As GMA observes, Japan saw a rise in cases in May.

Furthermore, only about 6% of residents have been vaccinated.

Thus, they’re being careful — so much so that shouting’s being shunned.

And that’s the Olympics of 2021.

It’s always been a classier endeavor than America’s favorite pastimes — some folks here like to get good and drunk and rowdy.

This year, imagine every event is golf.

So for any American touching down in Tokyo to tie one on and fly off the handle like you’re at a Jets game…think of it as icing your wings — you’ll have to cool your jets.

-ALEX

 

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