Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine
Online ISSN : 1347-4715
Print ISSN : 1342-078X
ISSN-L : 1342-078X
Global warming and the Summer Olympic and Paralympic games: a perspective from the Tokyo 2020 Games
Lisa Yamasaki Shuhei Nomura
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2022 Volume 27 Pages 7


The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games provided a significant opportunity to consider global warming as an issue to be seriously addressed to run the safe and fair games in the era of climate change. As the global temperature continuously rises and extreme hot-weather events increase in frequency and intensity, the future summer Olympic and Paralympic games will need to deal with the heat by applying thorough and appropriate countermeasures. In the recent decades, many mitigation measures to protect athletes from heat have been rapidly discussed by the sports community, including countermeasures to hold games at times and places with moderate temperature and climatic risk assessments with Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) during the games. However, the excessive heat conditions in the Tokyo 2020 Games affected not only athletes, but also all people concerned the events. While deliberate considerations by organizers had been given to mitigate extraordinary heat, the evaluations of these measures and epidemiological analyses of risk factors of patients must be further enhanced to develop efficient measures for the future. Therefore, we discussed the underlying climate-related problems of the summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in view of what we had experienced in the Tokyo 2020 Games. Facing with emerging global warming, future intervention against heat in the summer Olympic and Paralympic games will need to integrate systematic disease surveillance and evaluation of intervention with an effective combination with the approaches previously conducted. The Tokyo 2020 Games is a wake-up call to accelerate the public health measures towards the creeping global warming.

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