Olympics will go ahead regardless of pandemic situation: Tokyo 2020 president

REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said on Tuesday that Japan would hold the Summer Olympics regardless of the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and was working closely with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to make them happen.

“We will hold the Olympics, regardless of how the coronavirus [situation] looks,” Mori said, adding that the discussion should focus on how, not whether, the Olympics will happen. “We must consider new ways of hosting the Olympics.”

Mori added that while working together had its difficulties, Tokyo 2020 organizers and the IOC had a strong relationship. He was speaking at the start of a meeting with Japan’s Sports Research Commission.

The 2020 Games were postponed last year due to the global spread of COVID-19. A recent spike in infections in Japan that triggered a state of emergency in some areas has fuelled speculation about whether the rescheduled Games can be held this summer.

However, Mori’s comments further cement the notion that Tokyo will have its time to shine this summer on the Olympic stage. There had been growing concerns toward the end of January — along with incorrect reports — that the Games would be canceled due to the third wave of the virus in Japan.

“We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo,” IOC President Thomas Bach said on Jan. 21. “This is why there is no Plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these Games safe and successful.”

Further incentive for the Games to be held this summer came forward in a report by Reuters on Jan. 27, revealing insurers would face a $2 billion-to-$3 billion loss if it was canceled.

“Our task is to organize Olympic Games and not to cancel Olympic Games,” Bach added on Jan. 27. “This is why we are working day and night to organize safe Olympic Games

“We are not speculating whether the Games will take place. We are working on how the Games will take place.”

It is believed that either a limited number of spectators or no fans at all will be allowed into the Olympic venues at this time.

With Reuters reporting