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Typhoon May be Latest Challenge for Already Strange Tokyo Olympics

Spectators shelter from the rain during the men's cycling road race during the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on July 24, 2021.

An already weird Olympics may soon get weirder.

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Nepartak has formed off Japan’s east coast and could hit Tokyo late Monday or Tuesday.

It’s still too early to determine the exact path of the storm, but even an indirect hit could affect the Tokyo Games, especially water sports.

Accuweather says early indications suggest Nepartak will make landfall as a tropical storm, though “the system reaching typhoon strength upon its arrival onshore has not yet been ruled out.”

The storm has forced Olympics organizers to reschedule rowing events from Monday to Sunday.

"Outdoor events will bear the greatest risk, as heavy rain and gusty winds could cause postponement," said Accuweather meteorologist Jake Sojda in a statement.

"The greatest impact to the Games would obviously come from a direct hit on Tokyo, where the majority of venues and events are located," Sojda said. "However, even if the storm tracks farther north or south of Tokyo, there are some venues located farther away from the greater Tokyo metroplex that could still be impacted."

The weather has already been a factor, with athletes competing in sweltering summer heat. Daytime highs have reached 33 degrees Celsius with intense humidity. Some analysts have said this may be among the hottest Summer Games on record.

A Russian archer fainted Friday in the Tokyo heat. Athletes and coaches have used cooling vests, fans and umbrellas to protect themselves.

The storm is just the latest challenge for what many have called the weirdest Olympics ever.

The Games were delayed a year because of the coronavirus pandemic. A recent surge in cases in Tokyo forced nearly all events to be held without fans.

Athletes, officials and journalists at the Games are all required to stay inside tightly regulated protective bubbles and are restricted from wandering around the city.

So far, 132 Olympics-related individuals have tested positive for the virus.