This story was taken from the July 22nd edition of CNN 's While in America, l daily email on US politics to readers around the world. Click here to read previous editions and you subscribe. Faster, higher, louder ... sicker? The Tokyo Olympics, a year late, stripped of the crowds and now opposed by many in the host city, are already one of the strangest in history. Japan 's hopes of using the Games for project an image of modernity and power inAsia are wiped out. Even before the torch was lit on Friday, the Covid Games are already a symbol of a world choked by the pandemic and its relentless ability to crush dreams. It 's one thing to swim, jump, sprint and ride in empty arenas. But now there are questions about the sporting integrity of the Olympics as more athletes arrive in Tokyo, test positive and have to withdraw. The IOC's health and preparedness protocols are already under review. An argument to continue is that the athletes, many in the disciplines who need their quadrennial projector, have trained for years and deserve their chances. But it's also clear that business considerations drive decisions. This is where the United States comes in. The Olympics are a hugely lucrative exercise. The American television channel NBC has stille 11 years to manage a rights deal worth over $ 7 billion. Many American companies contribute to the financial success of the Games through sponsorships and invest significant sums. This Olympic year already seems a bit off in the United States, as the Summer Games usually coincide with a presidential election - and often have a political overhang. The 1984 and 1996 Games , on American soil, gave Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton a chance to bask in patriotic glory before being re-elected. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter called the boycott of the Moscow Games during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and months later lost his job.In 2008, President George W. Bush wondered whether to go to Beijing on human rights issues , ultimately making the trip. Business expert Mitt Romney saves the 2002 Winter Games a financial disaster, but in 2012 its poorly received comments on London as the Republican presidential candidate has become an electoral issue. The Olympic Games are often advertised by media critics on the venues , the doping scandals, corruption and hypocrisy that often surround the Games. But this is generalOnce-forgotten sports icons like American swimmer Michael Phelps and gymnast Simone Biles write their names in the national zeitgeist. Maybe the the five ring circus can do its magic again.