Tokyo Olympics to be Postponed Again if Current Conditions Persist
By: Evan Mei
The already delayed Tokyo Olympics will not be held next year if the current COVID-19 conditions persist, said Yoshiro Mori, the president of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, on Wednesday. When Japanese broadcaster NHK interviewed Mori, he replied that he was hopeful that this situation would improve and said that the formulation of a vaccine was key.
NHK asked Mori “If this kind of situation continues, is it possible to hold the games?”. “If the current situation continues, we can't,” Mori replied in Japanese.
On July 23, 2021, the Olympics are set to begin. A small 15-minute ceremony will take place with zero fans in the stadium, which won’t hold a candle to the 4 hour ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
The IOC and Japanese organizers have expressed sky-high confidence and have repeatedly stressed that the games will take place, however details regarding how an Olympics could happen with a global pandemic are currently few and far between.
If the situation still does not improve by July 23, 2021, the Tokyo Olympics will not be postponed further and will instead be canceled.
Mori stated, “It would be too much for us to answer each of these hypothetical questions,” and “I don’t think this situation can drag on for another year.”
“Whether the Olympics can be done or not is about whether humanity can beat the coronavirus,” Mori said. “Specifically, to develop a vaccine or drug is the first point.”
The IOC and organizers say the games might have to be simplified to reduce costs. Whether athletes will face quarantine, or even if fans can watch at a stadium is all up on the table for debate. For now, there are limited details until the fall.
There will be 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes participating at 42 venues. To date, 1,000 deaths in Japan have been attributed to COVID-19, with Tokyo seeing a spike of 300. However, these are relatively negligible compared to the 14 million people living in Tokyo.