2012 Olympic Chief Says Tokyo Olympics Are ‘Unlikely’ To Happen In 2021

2021 Olympic organizers have expressed optimism that the Games will go on, but one former Olympic organizer has suggested the Olympics are ‘unlikely’ to happen amid the pandemic.

Sir Keith Mills was the Chief Executive for the London 2012 Olympics. In an interview with the BBC this week, Mills said he sees the 2021 Olympics as unlikely to happen with Tokyo currently under a state of emergency in the coronavirus pandemic.

“Personally, sitting here looking at the pandemic around the world, it looks unlikely I have to say,” Mills said in the BBC story. “If I was sitting in the shoes of the organising committee in Tokyo, I would be making plans for a cancellation and I’m sure they have plans for a cancellation. They’ve got another month or so before they need to make a call.”

Mills said he thinks organizers will wait “to absolutely the last minute” to make a cancellation call in the hopes that vaccine rollouts speed up and the pandemic quickly improves.

Back in December, IOC President Thomas Bach said he was “very confident” that the Olympics would happen in 2021. But in early January, Tokyo declared an official state of emergency as coronavirus cases spiked. The IOC reconfirmed its commitment and Tokyo organizers also declared their plans to continue with the Olympics as-scheduled.

But Mills’ comments come as public confidence, in some circles at least, starts to wane on holding the Olympics this summer. Last week, a member of Japan’s cabinet, Taro Kono, said the Olympics “could go either way.” And in two polls by Japanese news agencies, 80% of Japanese residents said the Olympics should be canceled or postponed again.

The Olympics were originally scheduled for the summer of 2020. They’re now scheduled to begin on July 21, 2021 and run through August 8.

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Sir Lord Your Honor Keith Mills
1 month ago

I get his position and experience and expertise, but: “I personally think….” doesn’t sound like anything solid with merit

EasySpeed
Reply to  Sir Lord Your Honor Keith Mills
1 month ago

I agree, it seems unnecessary to cause confusion by him coming out and saying this

Sir Lord Your Honor Keith Mills
Reply to  EasySpeed
1 month ago

You clearly haven’t been around (usually) old people with an ego problem who think they run shit enough haha 🙂

Salty Krakens Nor Cal !
Reply to  Sir Lord Your Honor Keith Mills
1 month ago

Let’s let other sports play around the world but not the Olympics? HUH???? I would imagine they will figure it out.

Steve Nolan
1 month ago

If it does happen, there’s no way it’s anything like a “normal” Olympics, right?

If they get creative, maybe they can have something but it just doesn’t seem likely

Swimmer84
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

You could probably thin out the sports by having the ones that hold the Olympics as the pinnacle invited and the sports such as football not compete. I don’t know how a swimmer would feel if they went 8 years without a games but tennis, golf, football have major events that are bigger than the Olympics

Admin
Reply to  Swimmer84
1 month ago

I’m not morally opposed to this, I suppose, but I don’t think it really does a lot to solve the problems.

Let’s say we’re operating in a scenario where there is no public, so we ignore that basketball, tennis, etc. sell lots of tickets (in venues that are already paid for, mind you).

Most of those sports where it’s not the pinnacle don’t actually have that many athletes. Men’s soccer has 288 athletes, so that’s a pretty good size, but doesn’t make a huge dent in 11,238 athletes. Men’s and women’s golf is 120 athletes. 199 tennis players.

So, maybe you could skim off 1,000 this way at a substantial financial cost (because some of these sports do still carry… Read more »

spectatorn
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

maybe have the Olympics happening in bubble – everyone needs to be there are required to be vaccinated and tested before getting there and test again after arrival before allow in the Olympic area- like NBA and ISL has done for officials and athletes. With no spectators, there should be enough accommodation available in the planned Olympic village and hotels to fit officials and athletes.

No live spectators, but people who already bought tickets will get to see the event live through an app or special login website. I think the host should setup multiple cameras in the venue to mimic seat arrangement in general if they want to honor ticket tiers, etc. Ticket holders are also allowed to buy… Read more »

spectatorn
Reply to  spectatorn
1 month ago

In this case, I think the cost or expected cost of sending athletes and staff or officials are already a known cost to both the host and participating countries. I think each nation can still decide how many they will send without the host posting explicit limit at this point. I am thinking most nations will send less or the same instead of more, knowing there is a pandemic happening.

With enough nations willing to see the games happen, I assume it is not impossible to send vaccine to the smaller nations which voiced concerns or need help with getting vaccine for the limited /designated number of official and athletes.

Debt financing
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Venues that are already built, sure. I sincerely doubt they’re already paid for.

leisurely1:29
Reply to  Swimmer84
1 month ago

Yeah arbitrarily deciding which sports are worthy of Olympic competition by how many major competitions they have sounds like a great way to slow the spread of the virus.

Xman
1 month ago

I hope the US ends up hosting a national championship meet this summer with semi finals and allow international swimmers based in the US or Americans who represent another country to compete in it.

MIKE_IN_DALLAS
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Bravo!
Super idea!!

Michael Schwartz
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

Makes sense. Cancel the Olympics due to the pandemic and the fear of spread because of international travel (completely legitimate) and instead, host a big international event in the US, the country with the least amount of regard for the seriousness of the pandemic where it’s the most out of control with the highest number of deaths.

Let’s make sure Le Clos brings that sweet sweet new strain from South Africa along with him too so that we can spread that along with all the other international strains we are harboring. We may lose another 400K but our heard immunity will eventually kick in faster because of all our extra exposure. We’re playing 4D chess here living in 2025!

Last edited 1 month ago by Michael Schwartz
Xman
Reply to  Michael Schwartz
1 month ago

No it won’t be an international meet. It would be the swimmers who are already in the United States we have international swimmers based here, just let them compete in it.

Example that Egyptian kid Cody Miller always features in his videos, that girl from the swim swamp podcast who is competing for a Croatia. That Russian lady that Lily King always fights with trains in an undisclosed location in California.

You get the idea.

Samuli Hirsi
Reply to  Xman
1 month ago

ignorance is bliss, so it seems.

chinnychenchen
Reply to  Michael Schwartz
1 month ago

international swimmers based in the US”

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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