Duncan Garner: I got it wrong calling for Tokyo Olympics to be canned - athletes, please accept my apology

OPINION: On several occasions leading up to the Olympics, I said it was madness to hold the Games with COVID-19 running rampant.

I thought: "Why put the world and host nation Japan at further risk by jumping, cycling, running, hugging for two full-on weeks? Sport can wait, sport's not bigger than the fight against this virus. So what if the athletes miss an Olympics? This is a matter of life and death. Health first, worry about the Olympics later - and I won't be watching. It's just irresponsible."

But here comes the big backflip.

I got this wrong. I want to say, I am backtracking on those comments. I got it wrong and Mark Richardson can have his "told you so" moment.

Mark peeled me for my opposition to the game, so let's hope he welcomes me back into the support tent.

I take it Amanda Gillies has been totally hypocritical too, wanting it postponed - now she's a blubbering mess as the medals change hands. I think she tapes it and is watching some events up to five times a day.

Japan has managed the health protocols OK from what I can see - and I didn't think they would.

The truth is, I can't stop watching and cheering - not only is it a welcome distraction but the emotional reaction from our athletes shows me how much this means to them.

They are the 1 percenters; sporting gods who sacrificed everything, away from their families for months to pit themselves against the best from everywhere else. This is about way more than sport - this is about the best of humanity.

I have found myself in tears standing in front of the TV twice in the past week; not at the thought of coming back to work - but firstly the raw emotion of Hayden Wilde in the triathlon. I joined him in crying for reasons I can't really explain - and to think I wanted to deny him of that. I had tears for Sarah Hirini as well.  

To the athletes I offended with my premature call to can the Games, I see what it means to you - please accept this apology and good luck.

Duncan Garner hosts The AM Show.