When the Tokyo Olympics were postponed last year, officials promised they would open in 2021 as proof of mankind's triumph over the coronavirus.
But six months before the rescheduled start, victory over the virus remains distant, and fears are growing rapidly that the Games may not take place at all.
Publicly, organisers are still adamant the Games can go ahead, and say they can be held safely even if the virus is not under control by the time the flame is lit on July 23.
"It's precisely because we're in this situation that we need to remember the value of the Olympics — that humankind can coexist peacefully through sport," Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto told AFP.
However, with much of the world still paralysed by Covid-19, and Tokyo under a state of emergency, the doubting voices are growing louder.
Former London 2012 deputy chairman Keith Mills this week said he thought the Games looked "unlikely" to happen, while British Olympics legend Matthew Pinsent said it was "ludicrous" to go ahead.
The long path to Tokyo's second Summer Games has been littered with obstacles, from bid bribery allegations to fears over the summer heat.
But none has loomed as large as the pandemic, which last March forced the first peacetime postponement in modern Games history.