Understanding COVID-19 : a hybrid threat and its impact on sport mega-events : a focus on Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games / Solomon Imoudu Ilevbare, Gayle McPherson

Ilevbare, Solomon Imoudu | McPherson, Gayle

The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in 2020 affected the sports industry with the cancellation of many professional sports competitions worldwide. Thus, the postponement and organization of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games behind closed doors became a significant disruption to the global sports landscape. This paper presents a novel, conceptual discussion, signifying and defining the pandemic via the concept of international security as a hybrid threat. The authors associated the term hybrid threat to clarify better the difficult times facing sport mega-events. First, the paper proffers that the COVID-19 pandemic is a form of hybrid threat while reflecting on the connected implications of using sport as a soft power tool for nations. Secondly, it discusses the impact of COVID-19 on sport mega-events globally and explains the implications of COVID-19 on the Tokyo 2020 summer Olympic Games.

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