Rumor has it that the Summer Olympics in Tokyo are on the brink. A cancellation of the major event is evidently being discussed behind the scenes.
The rumor mill is simmering. As the British newspaper The Times reported, the Japanese government is looking for a way to cancel the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, which have already been postponed by a year. The Times quoted a senior official as saying:
An alternative is to try to position Tokyo as the venue for the 2032 Summer Games. Another government official, Tara Kono, has announced that everything is being done to host the games. But he adds: “It can end one way or the other. The Olympic Committee needs to think about a plan b and a plan C. "
Support in the population is dwindling
The population is increasingly critical of the government and is of the opinion that the corona pandemic is being tackled with too little determination. The Summer Olympics, which have been postponed until this year, are also enjoying less and less support. According to the latest surveys, 80 percent of Japanese people are in favor of postponing or canceling the major event again.
One of the reasons for the ever decreasing support is certainly the cost of the Olympic Games. In December the organizing committee announced that the postponement would result in additional costs of around two and a half billion Swiss francs. The total cost of the games is now around 23 billion Swiss francs.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) disagrees
The answer from the IOC was not long in coming. IOC President Thomas Koch communicated in mid-January: "There is absolutely no reason to believe that the Tokyo Olympic Games will not open on July 23 at the Tokyo Olympic Stadium." Bach supplemented this statement at the media conference on January 27, 2021 and said: "All 206 National Olympic Committees, all international associations and the athletes are behind the implementation of the Summer Games."
Last year, the Japanese Organizing Committee and the IOC held on to implementation for a long time, while some countries have already canceled their participation in the Olympics. Only after enormous pressure and a long wait was the postponement announced. The big question remains: will the situation from 2020 be repeated?
IOC press conference on January 27, 2021
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Credits: Cover picture Greg Martin / IOC