First lady Jill Biden to travel to Tokyo for Olympics opening ceremony

·2 min read

First lady Jill Biden will attend the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, on July 23, according to her office.

The Summer Olympics were supposed to kick off in Japan's capital last year on July 24 but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic and are now scheduled to take place from July 23 to Aug. 8. Despite the year delay, COVID-19 continues to rip through the country, mudding up the games with controversy and calls to cancel.

PHOTO: First Lady Jill Biden waves as she arrives in Savannah, Ga., July 8, 2021. (Jim Watson/Pool via AFP/Getty Images, FILE)
PHOTO: First Lady Jill Biden waves as she arrives in Savannah, Ga., July 8, 2021. (Jim Watson/Pool via AFP/Getty Images, FILE)

To address some of those concerns, organizers unveiled a series of "playbooks" with new rules and guidelines for how they plan to hold a safe and successful competition in Tokyo this summer amid the pandemic. The rules include a ban on spectators, a ban on cheering, mandatory COVID-19 testing, a quarantine period and more.

It's unclear if members of delegations like the first lady will have to follow the same rules as other spectators.

MORE: COVID-19 rules at the Tokyo Olympics: Spectators banned, vaccination not required

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month that the president would not attend the Olympics, but would send a U.S. delegation, as has been tradition.

"He will certainly be rooting for the athletes," she said. "We will have a delegation from the United States, as we have historically had. But we will continue to also convey the public health guidelines and guidance that we've been -- we've been delivering out there about only essential travel."

Tokyo entered its fourth state of emergency due to COVID-19 last week, imposing restrictions that will last through the games.

PHOTO: The logo of Tokyo 2020 is displayed near Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo, July 7, 2021. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The logo of Tokyo 2020 is displayed near Odaiba Seaside Park in Tokyo, July 7, 2021. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images)

Amid the surge, asked last month whether the first lady would attend, President Joe Biden said they were working on it.

"Well, we're trying to work that out now," he told White House reporters as he departed for a trip to Wisconsin. "That's the plan."

MORE: Stick to sports? Here's what could happen to Olympians who protest at Tokyo Games

The visit is slated to be Jill Biden's first solo international trip since becoming first lady. Last month, she joined Biden for the first leg of his first international trip as president.

In 2010, under then-President Barack Obama, the Bidens led the U.S. delegation to the Winter Games in Canada.

ABC News' Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.

First lady Jill Biden to travel to Tokyo for Olympics opening ceremony originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

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