OLYMPICS

Tokyo Head: Olympics Not Possible Under Current Conditions

Jul 22, 2020, 10:26 AM
Tokyo 2020 Olympics...
People pass an advert for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on March 25, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. Following yesterdays announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed to 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, IOC officials have said they hope to confirm a new Olympics date as soon as possible. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

TOKYO (AP) — The delayed Tokyo Olympics could not be held next year if conditions surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continue as they are, the president of the organizing committee said Wednesday.

In an interview with Japanese broadcaster NHK, Yoshiro Mori said he was hopeful the situation would improve and suggested a vaccine was the key.

“If this kind of situation (with COVID-19) continues, is it possible to hold the games?” Mori was asked by NHK.

“If current situation continues, we couldn’t,” Mori replied, speaking in Japanese.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to open on July 23, 2021 — a year from Thursday. A small, 15-minute ceremony without fans is scheduled for Thursday at the new national stadium to mark the date.

The International Olympic Committee and Japanese organizers have repeatedly expressed confidence the games will take place, though they have offered few details on how they can happen in the middle of a pandemic.

The IOC and organizers have also said the Olympics will not be postponed again and would be canceled.

“It would be too much for us to answer each of these hypothetical questions,” Mori said. “I don’t think this situation will last for another year.”

Researchers have said a vaccine could be six-to-nine months away, which Mori said was the key. Some, however, question if young athletes should be a priority, and if all would agree to be vaccinated.

“Whether the Olympics can be done or not is about whether humanity can beat the coronavirus,” Mori said. “Specifically, to develop a vaccine or drug is the first point.”

Organizers and the IOC say they want to simplify the games to help reduce the soaring costs. But officials cannot say now if fans will be permitted next year, or if athletes will face quarantines. They say few details will be available until the fall.

Plans call for the full contingent of 11,000 Olympic athletes and 4,400 Paralympic athletes to be competing at 42 venues.

About 1,000 deaths in Japan have been attributed to the coronavirus. Tokyo has seen a rising number of daily cases in the last few weeks, which reached a high of almost 300 last week.

But the numbers are relatively modest for a metropolitan area of 14 million.

Olympics

USA-Gymnastics-Aly-Raisman-Simone-Biles-McKayla-Maroney-Maggie Nichols...
WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer

Skepticism And Hope As USA Gymnastics Enters Post-Nassar Era

The blue and red flames of the new logo USA Gymnastics unveiled this week are designed to symbolize rebirth. They might as well double as a metaphor for the self-inflicted damage the organization has endured for the better part of a decade.
1 month ago
Troy Vincent - NFL...
Rob Maaddi, AP

NFL Makes Strong Push For Flag Football With Eye On Olympics

Flag football will be played at an international, multi-sport event for the first time next week during the World Games in Alabama.
3 months ago
Salt-Lake-City-2002-Winter-Olympics-Logo...
Eddie Pells, AP

Salt Lake City Winter Olympics Bid More Likely For 2034

Recent meetings with the IOC have led U.S. officials to believe all signs point toward Salt Lake City bidding for the 2034 Winter Olympics.
3 months ago
Lia-Thomas-Swimming...
Ciaran Fahey, AP

World Swimming Bans Transgender Athletes From Women’s Events

World swimming’s governing body has effectively banned transgender women from competing in women’s events, starting Monday.
3 months ago
Nordic-Combined-2022-Winter-Olympics...
Larry Lage, AP

Winter Olympics May Not Include Nordic Combined For 1st Time

The IOC is due to make a decision later this month about whether to allow women to compete in Nordic combined at the 2026 Games.
3 months ago
USA-Gymnastics-Aly-Raisman-Simone-Biles-McKayla-Maroney-Maggie Nichols...
Ed White, AP

Simone Biles, Other Women Seek $1B-Plus From FBI Over Nassar

Dozens of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar are seeking more than $1 billion from the FBI.
4 months ago
Tokyo Head: Olympics Not Possible Under Current Conditions