The Tokyo Olympics was postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With vaccines out, all signs pointed to the event successfully happening this year.
But recently, doctors in Tokyo have protested to have the event postponed further as the rate of Covid has spiked in Japan and hospitals are maxed out.
Japan is experiencing its worst coronavirus surge since a peak in January, with daily case rates now topping about 6,000.
The Japanese government recently extended a state of emergency in the games' host city of Tokyo and a few other prefectures through the end of May.
A successful inoculation effort was widely seen as an important benchmark for Japan's hosting of the games, but so far only a little more than one percent of Japan's population is fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have promised "safe and secure" games, with stringent health protocols.
Foreign fans are banned from attending the Tokyo games, but the event will still draw some 15,000 athletes, along with thousands of coaches, trainers, support personnel, and members of the media.
A decision on whether local spectators will be allowed isn't expected until June, but the event will still require thousands and thousands of staff and volunteers.
And without foreign fans, some of the economic benefits for Japan are already blunted, which is why more and more people in Japan are questioning the need for the games to go on.
A recent poll found 60 per cent of Japanese people want the games cancelled.
Olympic organisers have announced strict measures to try to contain Covid-19, but some public health experts worry the games could still become a superspreader event, with people bringing Covid-19 infections to Tokyo from all around the world and taking them back to their own communities when they leave.
"I don't know if the international prestige of holding the Olympics is worth it for a potential domestic public health event," Timothy Mackey, an associate adjunct professor in the global health program at the University of California San Diego, said of the Japanese decision to go forward with the games. "So why risk it now?"
This means a lot for Japan
The Tokyo Olympics are already the most expensive on record at more than $25 billion, with a couple of extra billion added because of the delay.
Even if Japan won't benefit from foreign visitors, business interests and media have huge stakes in these games, and that means a lot of money is riding on this.
Apart from money politics comes into play as Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide, whose ability to host the Olympics is seen as a political test of his handling of the pandemic.
And this is really the last chance to host the 2020 games; there will be no postponing it another year.
It would also signal Japan's failures against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Japan has fared better than the US or countries in Europe against the virus — and pursued a big stimulus package to boost its economy.
But cancelling the Olympics might spotlight the country's inability to get this latest wave under control, and its struggles to ramp up its vaccination campaign.
This could make Suga vulnerable to other politicians in his party, who would see an opening to challenge him for leadership — and the premiership.
Of course, it's not all about money and politics.
For many Olympic and Paralympic athletes, this summer's games may be their last and only chance to compete.
If the 2020 Olympics get cancelled, it's likely the event won't happen until 2024.
Over the past year, many athletes have adapted to the uncertainty, tweaking their training routines based on the requirements and restrictions of the pandemic.
But the overriding sentiment seems to be that athletes are training as if the games will go on.
"Of course I would say I want the Olympics to happen because I'm an athlete and that's sort of what I've been waiting for my entire life," tennis player Naomi Osaka, who represents Japan, told reporters earlier this month.
"But I think that there's so much important stuff going on, and especially the past year," she added.
"I think a lot of unexpected things have happened and if it's putting people at risk, and if it's making people very uncomfortable, then it definitely should be a discussion, which I think it is as of right now."
Kei Nishikori, another Japanese tennis player, said he agreed with Osaka.
"I'm an athlete, and of course my immediate thought is that I want to play in the Olympics," Nishikori said.
"But as a human, I would say we're in a pandemic, and if people aren't healthy, and if they're not feeling safe, then it's definitely a really big cause for concern."
There are questions over the bio-bubble
Compared to last year when the Tokyo Games were postponed, the world knows a lot more about how to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and large events like the Australian Open has happened.
Fans are returning to the Premier League games and they have also been present in cricket matches in Australia and New Zealand.
Japan and the IOC (International Olympic Committee) published their Covid-19 strategies, which they updated late last month and have said they'll continue to update based on the state of the pandemic.
Anyone travelling to the games is required to have a negative Covid-19 test within two days of departure, and athletes will undergo daily testing and be asked to download a contact-tracing app.
Athletes don't have to quarantine before they arrive, but they're supposed to wear masks and maintain social distance — no hugging or handshakes — and avoid public transit and tourist sites.
The venues themselves will take precautions like temperature checks and additional sanitation requirements.
Overall, it's an attempt to create a kind of bubble for thousands of athletes.
Also, Pfizer and BioNTech announced earlier this month that they reached an agreement with the IOC to distribute vaccine doses to athletes and delegates from participating countries, starting in late May to allow the two-dose regimen to be completed before the games.
But it's unlikely everyone making the journey will be vaccinated.
The Olympics could happen this year as planned, but without fans and the amount of scrutiny it's under, the core of the event - a celebration of international sport and teamwork - the event going through seems a bit hollow.