IOC VP: The Tokyo Olympics will be held 'with or without' COVID-19
The Tokyo Olympics, postponed to 2021, will take place next year, regardless of the coronavirus pandemic, John Coates, vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Monday.
During a telephone interview with AFP on Monday, the president of the IOC coordination committee for the 2020 Olympic Games, stated that the Tokyo Olympics will take place "with or without" coronavirus, and specified that "they will begin on July 23 next year".
It will be the Games that will have conquered the covid, the light at the end of the tunnel, he said.
The theme of these Games will be rebuilding after the devastation caused by the tsunami, said Coates, alluding to the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan in 2011.
Until now, the Olympics had only been canceled during wartime.
In principle, they should have been inaugurated on July 24, but the organizers made the historic decision, in March, to postpone them to the summer of 2021, as the coronavirus spread around the world.
The Japanese authorities clearly indicated that they do not want the Games to be postponed again.
Japan's borders remain largely closed to foreigners, and many experts doubt that the pandemic will be under control by next summer.
According to several recent polls, a clear majority of Japanese want the Games to be postponed again or canceled, because of the coronavirus.
But Coates, however, stressed that the Japanese government has not given up at all to organize them, despite the monumental task that constitutes the postponing.
Before the covid, IOC President Thomas Bach declared that they were the best prepared Games they have ever seen, the sites were almost all finished, now they are, the village is incredible, and that everything was going well.