25 July 2021:(Photograph by Atsushi Tomura/ Getty Images)

But though these circumstances have been disappointing, they have also been relatively inconsequential. The athletes also haven’t seemed too distressed by the empty stands, so the biggest losers in the whole scenario have been the Japanese Olympic supporters.

One has to feel sympathy for the Japanese, who were such gracious and enthusiastic hosts of the Rugby World Cup two years ago. This would have been an incredible Olympics, one to rival Sydney 2000 or London 2012.

Before the start of the Games, there were reports of 80% of the population being against the hosting of the Olympics once the pandemic hit, and numerous protests from Japanese people who have questioned the logic of hosting what could have been a super-spreader event in a country in which not enough of its people have been vaccinated.

Despite this, there have been multiple fans catching whatever glimpse they could of the action – waving from apartment buildings opposite Games venues, their windows adorned with Olympic and Team Japan paraphernalia, or sneaking a photo through the large fences separating those involved in the Games from the general population on the outside.

In a different world and at a different time, Tokyo 2020 could have been spectacular. It will certainly be a memorable one, the photos of masked medal celebrations a reminder forever of the pandemic we lived through.