A new restriction on the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympics. That's where we start the week here on CNN 10. I'm Carl Azuz.
Thank you for watching. The coronavirus pandemic has caused a lot of problems for these games.
They're still called the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but while they were originally scheduled to start on July 24th of last year. They've been postponed until July 23rd of this summer with the Paralympics scheduled to begin on August 24th.
The Olympic Organizing Committee just announced over the weekend that spectators from other countries will not be allowed. People who already bought tickets will get their money back and it's not clear yet how many people from Japan will be able to attend the games.
The reason for the new restriction according the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees is that the international COVID situation is still very challenging and that international travel is still severely restricted.
Organizers say the decision will help keep the games safe and secure but it could hurt Japan economically without the visits and spending by international tourists that usually benefit Olympic hosts. The decision to delay the games has already taken a toll on some athletes though others are grateful for the extra training time.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Olympic fencer Leo Miaki (ph) took up a new job last year, delivering food for Uber Eats to make extra cash and stay in shape during the pandemic. His training stopped for several months after Tokyo announced the postponement of the Olympics. He's since resumed practice but the physical and mental challenges remain.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE TRANSLATED: It's like running a full marathon for four years. Adding another year is like we have to keep on running before reaching the goal.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: With the Olympic games just months away, it's still unclear how Japan plans to hold the games safely. While the Japanese government has vowed the games will go ahead, a poll in January by public broadcaster NHK found that 77 percent of people in Japan think the games should be cancelled or further postponed.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's quite risky to hold the Olympics in Japan at this stage. But I think all athletes understand that safety is the first priority and I don't think there are any athletes who want to compete in the Olympics no matter what.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: At stake are tens of billions of dollars and Japan's national pride but for athletes a lifetime of dedication hangs in balance as does their mental well being.