According to The Times, the Japanese government has ‘privately concluded’ that it is forced to cancel the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but will bid to host the games in the next slot available in 2032.
The UK newspaper claimed that a senior member of the ruling coalition said that ‘the consensus is that it’s ‘too difficult’ and does not expect that the event will continue after Japan has entered a state of emergency due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.
No plan B
On the contrary, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told Kyodo News that there is no ‘plan B’ when it comes to the Tokyo Games, so it is of utmost importance to stage the event this year.
“You may not like it but sacrifices will be needed,” he said. “This is why I’m saying, safety first, and no taboo in the discussion to ensure safety.”
With Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reaffirming that the event will “bring hope and courage to the world,” Olympic officials and organisers are still optimistic that the Games will move forward.
Possibility of skipping coronavirus vaccine queue
The Chief Executive of the British Olympic Association (BOA), Andy Anson, insisted at the beginning of January that Olympic athletes would not skip the queue for the coronavirus vaccine, after news indicated they could take precedence over more disadvantaged classes.
Bach stressed, however, that now the government has the vaccine at its disposal, the organisers of the games are in a much better position than they were this time last year. He stressed, however, that when it comes to handling spectators, they must be ‘flexible.’
Great science, medicine and vaccination progress
Bach continued: “First of all, let me be clear that you cannot compare March 2021 with March 2020 because there is such great progress in science, medicine, vaccination and (virus) tests. All this was not available in March last year. Nobody knew yet how really to deal with the pandemic, and now we know much more.”
After academic Bent Flyvbjerg reported that the current bill stands at $15.84 billion, it was estimated that the postponed games will go down as the most expensive edition of the summer Olympics in history.