Tokyo Games Could be the Hottest Summer Olympics Ever

By Will Jarvis.

Years before the coronavirus pandemic delayed the Tokyo Games, caused an uproar over public safety and left arenas empty, researchers were sounding the alarm over another concern for the world’s top athletes: extreme heat.

Tokyo’s Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to be one of — if not the — hottest and most humid Games on record, with daily temperatures expected in the high 80s and low 90s degrees Fahrenheit. With high humidity, that could feel more like 100 degrees — and pose the danger of dehydration, premature fatigue and heat stroke to athletes and Olympic staff.

Before the Games officially kicked off Friday, Russian archer Svetlana Gomboeva fainted during a qualifying round due to heat exhaustion, and in men’s tennis, world No. 2 player Daniil Medvedev said Saturday that Tokyo’s heat and humidity were “some of the worst” conditions he’d ever played in.

“It’s almost like you are in a sauna or something like that,” said Makoto Yokohari, a professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the University of Tokyo and an adviser to the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.