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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months 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
6 months ago

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

Xman
6 months 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.

Michael Schwartz
Reply to  Xman
6 months 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 6 months ago by Michael Schwartz
Xman
Reply to  Michael Schwartz
6 months 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
6 months ago

ignorance is bliss, so it seems.

chinnychenchen
Reply to  Michael Schwartz
6 months ago

international swimmers based in the US”

gkjhdslks
6 months ago

rip

Olympian
Reply to  gkjhdslks
6 months ago

Bring out Mr Dick!!

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Olympian
6 months ago

Whoa, keep this family friendly.

SCCOACH
6 months ago

Yeah but what does Dick Pound think?

Caleb Montrealez
Reply to  SCCOACH
6 months ago

Rip Caeleb Dressel’s new 100 free 50 free 100 fly word records

Mr Piano
Reply to  Caleb Montrealez
6 months ago

I feel like the 50 free wasn’t gonna happen. It’s right after the 100 fly, and Dressel is more of a 100 swimmer than an all out 50 guy like Pen Proud for example. He’ll probably go 46.7 in the 100 free and 49.2 or .3 in the 100 fly, but end up going 20.98 or something in the 50 free. Those damn super suited records

swimfast
Reply to  Mr Piano
6 months ago

He’s absolutely a pure 50 swimmer. His start is the best, his middle is the best, and his finish is the best. Just because he’s amazing at other events doesn’t mean he’s not a 50 swimmer. He’s also the only person to go 17- short course; and the list of those who’ve tried consists of very, very pure 50 swimmers

Last edited 6 months ago by swimfast
Prettykitten
Reply to  swimfast
6 months ago

He’s actually the slowest at swimming. But his start, skills and fitness is so good that it doesn’t matter. All of his races start with him a body length ahead then he slowly gets caught until the turn where he does it again but he just doesn’t die on the second 50. I’d say 50 free is is 3rd best event. Maybe 4th i think if he swam a 200 fly at a worlds level meet he’d be sup 1:52 im not sure about the WR but he could challenge it based on his 100 fly and the one time he went 1:56. I do think he can get the WR in the 50 but i also think he has… Read more »

Robbos
Reply to  Prettykitten
6 months ago

He’s still to beat Chalmers at the Olympics.

Ikee Fan
6 months ago

However even under the state of emergency, they never shut down businesses and never have. Schools are open although it closed for like 2 months depending on cities.

I heard they would lose a lot of money if they declare they cannot host. They also cannot decide on their own as IOC probably has a say on this.

SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
6 months ago

Is it possible they could move it to October or November? Would that even help?

SCCOACH
Reply to  SAMUEL HUNTINGTON
6 months ago

It might make things easier on Americans but not every country is on the same vaccine schedule as us

Catherine
Reply to  SCCOACH
6 months ago

You’re right. There have been only 55 vaccinations in all of Africa according to the vaccine tracker I follow (Bloomberg), and none in Japan. Despite all the complaints about the rollout in the US, they’re doing relatively well. But at the current rate, it’s hard to see how the Olympics can happen this summer. The US is promising that anyone who wants a vaccine can get one by June; Canada says by September. Has anyone heard more hopeful news?

Togger
Reply to  Catherine
6 months ago

UK official position is September, rumoured maybe June.

If they were try to do it outside Tokyo the primary candidates would seem to be London or Beijing but I suspect, whilst they’ve still got things like the pool and athletics stadium, many facilities for the smaller sports are no longer there.

So it’s probably, cancellation, Tokyo or a reduced sports slate elsewhere.

Last edited 6 months ago by Togger
Gheko
Reply to  Togger
6 months ago

London is in lockdown and China has a lot of new cases!

IM FAN
6 months ago

Even if the IOC is somehow able to sort out the logistics of holding the games themselves, in many places around the world the prospects of even holding qualifiers for the games look dubious. To safely host a gathering of thousands of people from all over the entire world during such a complicated and ever changing situation in a city that itself is currently under a lockdown due to the pandemic just doesn’t seem to be a likely possibility. I’m sure the IOC will drag their heels but the writing seems to be on the wall.

If the games don’t happen in 2021 I’d assume there won’t be a summer games this Olmpyiad. To put into perspective how monumental… Read more »

Fer
6 months ago

How about Olympics without Americans?😉

Mike
Reply to  Fer
6 months ago

What is your rationale for this concept?

SCCOACH
Reply to  Mike
6 months ago

Americans are annoying

Mike
Reply to  SCCOACH
6 months ago

If that’s the bar then it’s going to be a small group indeed.

Gator
Reply to  SCCOACH
6 months ago

You Hate losing I guess…

SCCOACH
Reply to  Gator
6 months ago

I’m American!

Irish Ringer
Reply to  Fer
6 months ago

I guess, if you wanted to give other countries a chance to win some medals but where’s the excitement in not racing against the best?

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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