AP PHOTOS: No cheers amid virus fears at fanless Tokyo Games

Jul 25, 2021, 4:41 AM | Updated: 6:25 am
Asia D'Amato, of Italy, performs her floor exercise during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifica...

Asia D'Amato, of Italy, performs her floor exercise during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Gymnasts raised their arms and struck familiar poses — without the familiar explosion of cheers. Nothing to hear near the beach volleyball courts, either, except the piercing hiss of cicadas in surrounding trees.

All around the Tokyo Games, empty seats have provided a sullen, silent reminder that these unusual Olympics have been staged against the will of many in Japan, where the coronavirus pandemic is surging.

Only at a few far-flung events — like soccer matches in the northern prefecture of Miyagi — have fans been allowed to enter. Even then, capacities are severly limited.

A DJ spun some beats at the 3-on-3 basketball court, but the six competitors on the court were essentially his entire audience. No one watched at archery, weightlifting or field hockey, either.

One group of competitors who didn’t seem to mind: dressage horses at the Equestrian Park, who carried on without a care as they performed pirouettes and piaffes.

___

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              A group of officials watch from a doorway during Boxing competition at Kokugikan Arena at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, Pool)
            
              The United States plays Romania during a women's 3-on-3 basketball game at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
            
              Stands remain empty of fans due to COVID-19 restrictions on the north pitch of the Oi Hockey Stadium during a women's field hockey match between China and Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              Stands remain empty of fans due to COVID-19 restrictions on the north pitch of the Oi Hockey Stadium during a women's field hockey match between China and Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
            
              A steward stands in the empty stands at the softball game between the Mexico and Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Fukushima, Japan, July 22, 2021. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
            
              Lin Chen-hao, center right, of Taiwan, and Shira Rishony, of Israel, compete in a women's 48-kg match with no spectators attending at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
            
              Mexico's Dallas Escobedo warms up before a softball game against Italy at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
            
              Players of Brazil and Ivory Coast warm up in the International Stadium prior to a men's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Yokohama, Japan. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)
            
              Japan's Maya Yoshida, left, takes a penalty kick against South Africa as the stands sit empty during a men's soccer match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Thursday, July 22, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Shuji Kajiyama)
            
              Felix Auger-Aliassime, of Canada, plays against Max Purcell, of Australia, during the first round of the tennis competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
            
              Kento Momota of Japan competes against USA's Timothy Lam during men's singles Badminton match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
            
              Spectators watch during a women's soccer match between China and Zambia at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Miyagi, Japan. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              Seats sit empty during the women's 49kg weightlifting event, at the Tokyo International Forum , during the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
            
              Carlos Edriel Yulo, of Philippines, performs on the rings during the men's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
            
              Estonia's Dina Ellermann, riding Donna Anna, competes during the dressage Grand Prix competition at an empty Equestrian Park the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
            
              Zambia's players react after a women's soccer match against China at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Miyagi, Japan. China and Zambia were tied 4-4. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
            
              Backdropped by empty seats at Yumenoshima Park Archery Field Mexico's Luis Alvarez releases an arrow during the mixed team competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
            
              Julia Sude and Karla Borger, of Germany, play against Anouk Verge-Depre and Joana Heidrich, of Switzerland, during a women's beach volleyball match in the empty Shiokaze Park at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Saturday, July 24, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
            
              Asia D'Amato, of Italy, performs her floor exercise during the women's artistic gymnastic qualifications at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

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AP PHOTOS: No cheers amid virus fears at fanless Tokyo Games