Story by Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Simon Denyer, The Washington Post
TOKYO — DJ Daisuke Kikyo jumped in the air, pumped his fists and blasted hits such as “La Bamba,” “YMCA” and “Call Me Maybe” to hype up the mood at the beach volleyball match held at Tokyo’s Shiokaze Park on Thursday.
The video screen instructed fans to join in: “Stand Up! Stand Up! Now everybody clap your hands.” In the vast swathe of empty sunbaked seats, one member of an Olympic delegation gamely got to his feet. He was among a handful of people present.
The Tokyo Olympics is unlike any other Games, postponed a year because of the coronavirus and carried out without spectators at the vast majority of the Games venues to minimize the virus’s spread. To compensate for the lack of ambiance and fan support, organizers have come up with a variety of ways to manually create energy for the athletes competing in hollowed-out venues — to mixed results.