Games organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori has said the pandemic-delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be held this year despite health warnings and lack of public support.
Deputy head of the London 2012 organising committee, Sir Keith Mills, earlier this week said he felt it was ‘unlikely’ that Tokyo would take place amid the ongoing Covid crisis. IOC bosses delayed the Games for 12 months when the global pandemic first spread last spring.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has, however, vowed that the games would go on. he said: “We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.
“This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these games safe and successful.”
Bach did admit that changes to the planned event might have to be made which might include limits or even bans on fans whether from Japan or overseas, and requirements for all participants in the Games to have received Covid vaccines and tested negative or quarantined on arrival in the country.
Bach added: “We will need to be flexible. You may not like it but sacrifices will be needed. This is why I’m saying, safety first, and no taboo in the discussion to ensure safety.”
“Our task is also to make Olympic dreams of athletes come true,” Bach said. “We are working day and night to organise safe Games and won’t add fuel to all these kinds of speculations.”
Meanwhile, Tokyo, Japan’s capital recorded 393 coronavirus cases on February 1, 2021, taking its overall infection numbers past 100,000 Reports also showed that Tokyo reported 633 new cases on January 31, 2020.