Featuring John MacAloon, Keturah Orji, and Motoko Rich on July 11, 2021

When Tokyo first hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964, it was widely regarded as a coming out moment on the international stage, where Japan could say it had risen from the ashes of World War II and was again an international player. More than fifty years later, Japan found itself in a similar position, poised to host the 2020 Summer Games and show the world it had successfully recovered from a devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster. But the coronavirus pandemic threw a wrench into those plans, postponing the games for a year. And now, COVID-19 is on the rise in Japan -- and its  government just declared a fourth state of emergency in Tokyo. So, why are the Summer Olympics still happening? This week, we are exploring what happens when a country holds the world’s largest sporting event in the middle of a global pandemic. Olympic Historian John MacAloon, Olympic Athlete Keturah Orji and New York Times Tokyo Bureau Chief Motoko Rich join us on this week’s podcast to talk about sports, diplomacy, public health, protest and human rights at the Tokyo Olympics and beyond.

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