Skip to main content

I Loved the Video Game Music That Happened During the Tokyo Olympics, but Damn I Wish They Would’ve Delayed The Games

The stands are empty and Tokyo is still in a state of emergency

Tokyo Olympics stands

The Tokyo Olympics started today and it is truly a sentence I wish I wasn’t typing because we’re still dealing with COVID, so much so that Tokyo is in a state of emergency until August 22.

At the same time, the athletes walked out to video game music, and to a gamer girl like me that is peak levels of cool.

Like. I involuntarily smile when I hear Sonic the Hedgehog’s Starlight Zone. Hearing it played for something as globally recognized as the Olympics is amazing.

Honestly, this is what I was looking forward to with the Olympics being in Tokyo. Seeing the geek properties I know and love integrated into something that takes place on a global stage is the epitome of my nerdy child self high-fiving my nerdy adult self.

But every aspect of it is marred with this overwhelming sense of, “I’d enjoy this more if we weren’t in the middle of a literal pandemic.” This would be so much more satisfying if the Games were postponed and there wasn’t such a sense of dread running alongside them.

USA Today wrote about the amount of public protest to the Olympics, saying that a majority of citizens wanted the games to be postponed. “Public polls in Japan have long indicated that the majority of citizens would have preferred to see the Games canceled or postponed a second time amid the continued spread of COVID-19. In a poll conducted by Kyodo News last weekend, 87% of respondents expressed concern about hosting the Olympics during a pandemic, while 31.2% said they believed the Games should be canceled.”

USA Today goes on to say that big Japanese sponsors, such as Toyota, have refused to run ads in Japan during the games because of the animosity with the Olympics this year. USA Today also revealed that 110 people connected with the Olympics had tested positive for COVID, including 13 athletes and 12 people who were residing in the Olympic Village.

So yeah.

Not the best time for the Olympics.

As cool as the nerdery of the entrance music is, none of it negates the fact that we’re hosting this event at the worst possible time imaginable. This wonderful presentation truly could’ve waited until it was actually safe to host the Games, that way, it could’ve been fully appreciated instead of feeling like an attempt to ignore the elephant in the room. I’m not sure when that “in the clear” moment would’ve happened, but I do know that trying to speed-run COVID is just going to keep us locked in this ongoing dungeon crawler that feels like it has no end in sight.

Having something as big as the Olympics taking place when the host city is in a state of emergency because of the rising COVID numbers (followed by athletes testing positive for COVID) is just a reminder that this is yet another event that is attempting to ignore a global crisis. Not to mention the recent conversations about how the Olympics treats Black women, though I do understand that’s an ongoing conversation we’re going to have for a long while. That kind of change won’t happen overnight, and apparently, neither will the fact that a state of emergency should equal postponement of major events.

As cynical as I have been about COVID, I did, for a second, think that maybe the mounting health hazards surrounding the Games would be enough for a delay. I’m not sure why I thought this as most places have become laxer with their precautions. To a lot of places, vaccine has translated to we’re good to go when it’s just a step in a multi-layer plan we’re still coming up with on the fly.

Maybe I thought the Games would be postponed because of the HIGH percentage of people who were worried about the Olympics. This is an event that brings in people from all around the world, so I thought news of Tokyo’s state of emergency would make folks realize that we’re not at all ready to host something so grand (arguably, we’re not at all ready to host much of anything yet). Bringing in athletes from around the world and sending them home could spell disaster, especially since we know some of them tested positive for COVID.

While precautions have been taken (such as not allowing spectators and athletes not being able to bring guests) the need for taking such measures puts a heaviness on the event. The Final Fantasy 7 soundtrack is accompanying empty stands. Part of the Olympics is hearing the crowd cheering as they watch the games, so there’s this emptiness in seeing everyone walk into a quiet stadium.

I love the entrance music that played during the Olympics, but I hate knowing that this would be a whole lot better if this weren’t happening just yet.

(Image: FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)