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According to the Associated Press (AP) the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is adamant that the Tokyo Olympic Games will be held in 2021 despite the pandemic. Apparently, so too are the organisers.
“At the moment, we’re positive that the Games will be held,” said Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations.
In early January there rumours were spread that the organisers were hatching a plan to cancel the Games. Not so said the organisers and Thomas Bach, president of the IOC.
“Right now there is no alternative option,” Ricci Bitti said. “As Bach said, a Plan B doesn’t exist. Everything else is pure speculation. Whoever talks about that is doing harm, because it creates confusion.”
The Olympics will go ahead this summer “however the coronavirus evolves,” Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said Tuesday.
“We must go beyond discussion about whether we will hold it or not. It’s about how we will do it. Let’s think about a new kind of Olympics on this occasion,” he added.
The current state of emergency
Japan plans to extend its current state of emergency in the countries largest cities. They include Tokyo, Osaka, as well as eight other prefectures.
The federal government has made this decision as the country continues to battle rising coronavirus cases.
The move comes as questions persist over the country’s ability to host the Games from July 23 to August 8. Eleven of Japan’s 47 prefectures are currently under a state of emergency that orders companies to facilitate work from home where possible. Mass gathering events are also required to limit the number of attendees. Restaurants are under strict orders to limit service, times, and gatherings.
The pandemic numbers
Globally, there have been 104,065,269 positive coronavirus test results according to Worldometers.
Two-million, 251 thousand and 128 people have died. More than 75-million have recovered.
Japan has had a total of 391,626 cases, which is the 37th most in the world. Total deaths are 5,794, the number of recovered to date is 339,377, an 86% recovery rate.
The U.S. continues to lead the world with 26,916,747 cases or 25% of the global cases.
All sports are in
According to Francesco Ricci Bitti, president of the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, all 33 sports are unanimously in for the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Bitti told Yahoo Sports, “All of them, it’s unanimous. They want the games.”
The Games will likely be for television and streaming only, as Bach has said that the games may not include spectators. The IOC needs the billions of dollars of sponsorship, advertising, and television revenue that are generated from the games. One-third of Olympic sports have suffered due to the postponement of the Games.