Olympics Summer

No spectators, no fans: What it's like for the athletes at Tokyo 2020

The public is banned from stadiums and arenas during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Here's what it's like practising, competing and winning at the Games without spectators and fans in the bleachers. 

This Olympics is a TV-only affair

Canada's Danielle Lawrie pitches during a spectator-less softball game against Italy at Yokohama Stadium during the Olympics on Monday in Yokohama, Japan. (Matt Slocum/The Associated Press)

The public is banned from stadiums and arenas during the Tokyo Olympics, after the Japanese government put the capital under a state of emergency because of rising new COVID-19 infections and the highly contagious delta variant.

Here's what it's like for athletes practising, competing and winning at the Games without spectators and fans in the bleachers. 


Skateboarder Aori Nishimura of Japan is photographed during practice on Sunday. 

(Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Athletes participate in an open training session at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre on Sunday.

(Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters)

A women's field hockey team from Spain trains at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo on Friday.

(Bernadett Szabo/Reuters)

Empty seats at matches, competitions

Sitting on her horse, TSF Dalera, Jessica von Bredow-Werndl of Germany reacts after competing in the equestrian dressage team final on Tuesday. The German dressage team won its ninth gold medal in the past 10 Olympics, beating the U.S. and Britain for the second straight time. 

(David Goldman/The Associated Press)

Julia Sude, left, of Germany, takes a shot as Canada's Sarah Pavan defends during a women's beach volleyball match on Monday in Tokyo.

(Felipe Dana/The Associated Press)

Lin Chen-hao, centre, of Taiwan, and Shira Rishony of Israel compete in a women's 48-kg judo match on Saturday.

(Jae C. Hong/The Associated Press)

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece in action during his first-round match against Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany on Sunday.

(Edgar Su/Reuters)

Choi Seong Deok of South Korea, right, during a rugby sevens match at an empty Tokyo Olympic Stadium on Monday. 

(Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters)

Carlos Edriel Yulo of the Philippines performs on the rings during the men's artistic gymnastic qualifications on Saturday.

(Gregory Bull/The Associated Press)

Only cameras at medal ceremonies 

Photographers and videographers gather for the table tennis mixed doubles medal ceremony at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium on Monday. 

(Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, presents Canada's Jessica Klimkait with the bronze medal in women's 57kg judo competition on Monday.

(Adrian Wyld/The Associated Press)

From left, bronze-medal gymnasts Jennifer Gadirova, Jessica Gadirova, Amelie Morgan and Alice Kinsella, all from Britain, celebrate on the podium on Tuesday.

(Mike Blake/Reuters)

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