Pan American Games

Column: Another Olympic city faces a financial calamity

The glittering new venues not far from the South Korean coast were clearly the place to be on Monday.

Thousands of bundled-up people scurried through the Olympic Park despite frigid temperatures, heading off in various directions to cheer on the figure skaters, curlers and speedskaters. On their way to the events, they could grab a burger at a McDonald's designed like a geodesic dome, or pop into an exhibit on Tokyo's preparations for the 2020 Summer Games, or relieve themselves of thousands of won at a superstore.

In the heat of the moment, it all seems to make sense, this enormous cornucopia of sports.

"The venues are really stunning," said Thomas Bach,...