TOKYO (AP) — At their halfway point, the Tokyo Olympics are still grappling with the fact that there are no crowds.
But looking at the Games without fans is an opportunity to examine what spectators add to a public entertainment event, and what their absence takes away.
Olympic organizers say the essence of the Games will remain the same. But without any crowds, even the television audience, which represents so much of the money made by the Olympics, is affected.
In the words of one media scholar, we like to watch things with crowds because they make it easier to pretend we're there ourselves.