Now that we are into 2021, there are many wondering what will happen to the Tokyo Olympics that had been postponed from last summer. There had been rumors that an announcement was imminent from the Japanese government that the Olympics would be canceled – but that is not the case.
Japan Says Olympics Will Not Be Canceled
While 80% of the people of Japan says the Olympics should be canceled or postponed, the Japanese government has made it clear that they intend for the Olympics to continue as scheduled. It had already been stated last year that the Summer Olympics would not be postponed again – it had to be this summer or not at all. Already, the next Winter Olympics is just over one year away and will take place 6 months after the Summer Olympics.
The Japanese Prime Minister as well as the IOC have made statements that Tokyo will host the Olympics this year and they are continuing to move forward with preparations. Of course, even if they were thinking about canceling, they would not want something like that out just yet as there is still plenty of time to see what the virus situation will look like in the summer – even as Japan deals with another wave hitting them.
Here is the statement about the Tokyo Olympics:
“Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be cancelled because of the coronavirus. This is categorically untrue.
“At an IOC Executive Board meeting in July last year, it was agreed that the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be held on July 23 this year, and the programme and venues for the Games were rescheduled accordingly. All parties involved are working together to prepare for a successful Games this summer.
“We will be implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer.”
What Will the Tokyo Olympics Be Like?
I think it is likely that the Olympics will go on as scheduled but likely with a very strict protocol as to who can attend and a much smaller opening and closing ceremony. In fact, it may be only a televised event but this is something that Japan absolutely does not want as it will be a crushing blow to their economy to not have their hotels filled with spectators and money being spent throughout the country. The Olympics preparation has already cost Japan billions of dollars – in fact, the cost for just postponing the Olympics cost Japan $4.3 billion.
Japan needs for the Olympics to take place. The thousands of athletes that have trained for the Olympics need them to take place. These athletes can have major changes in sponsorships going forward if they medal in the Olympics so for their athletic careers, it is a big deal. Not to mention the fact that the summer Olympics only come around once every 4 years so that puts pressure on those athletes that had one last shot.
In fact, the world may even really need to see the Olympics take place – in some form or another. It is always a way to enjoy and have a sense of pride in what the various nations are able to do on a world stage.