Speculation over Tokyo Olympics: 2021, 2032 or not at all?
Publish- January 23, 2021, 02:26 PM
AP/UNB - AP/UNB
Just about everybody, especially the organizers in Japan and Switzerland, want the Tokyo Olympics to open on July 23 — as scheduled.
And yet, 2021 is starting on a similar path that led to the decision last March to postpone the games for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Japanese authorities and the International Olympic Committee moved quickly Friday to dismiss a report by The Times of London that quoted an anonymous government official claiming it has been concluded the games will be canceled.
“Categorically untrue,” Japan’s government said in a statement endorsed by the IOC.
The same unidentified government official said Tokyo could instead host in 2032, after Paris and Los Angeles take their turns in 2024 and 2028, respectively.
For the games to go ahead as planned, the travel, quarantine and safe conduct rules will be strict. These would apply also to any fans allowed to enter venues.
Organizers plan to publish within weeks “Playbooks” that “outline the personal responsibilities each person attending the games must follow,” the International Paralympic Committee said Friday. The Tokyo Paralympics start Aug. 24.
It does have substantial reserves, including an Olympic Foundation portfolio worth $989 million according to the published accounts for 2019. The fund’s purpose includes “to cover the IOC’s operating cash requirements in the event of a cancellation of any future Olympic Games.”
The IOC is due to share about $600 million among 27 sports as their share of its Tokyo Olympics revenue.
Canceling Tokyo is a big hit for some of those governing bodies, though most have their own reserves. They also had access to loans from the IOC and government of Switzerland, where most are based.