U.S. President Joe Biden recently spoke on the likelihood of the Olympics taking place this Summer in Tokyo. Appearing on a Westwood One Sports radio show that was broadcast at halftime of the Super Bowl on Sunday, President Biden said that any decision regarding the Olympics being held this year “must be based on science.”
Biden recently spoke to Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who he says is “working very hard to be in a position to safely open the Games, to have the Games.” He added that he “feels such pain” for the Olympians who would be missing out on the opportunity they’ve trained for years for, if in fact, the Games are not able to take place. The president finished his remarks by saying “We are a science-driven administration, I think the rest of the world’s there too. I hope we can play, I hope it’s possible, but it remains to be seen.”
Biden’s words come on the heels of an interview Tokyo Organizing Committee member Haruyuki Takahashi recently gave, wherein he stated that the future of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics could well depend on the support of Joe Biden. Takahashi went on to say that a strong, positive statement by the U.S. president in favor of the Games going ahead would help gain momentum for the Committee going forward with the plans.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were moved back by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and in recent weeks, a wave of conflicting reports have emerged regarding the likelihood of the Olympics taking place in Tokyo this summer. After a report that Japanese officials internally were concerned Tokyo would not be able to successfully move forward with the Olympics this year, which was disputed by the Japanese government, the U.S. state of Florida offered to host the event.
Most recently, the Tokyo 2020 President, Yoshiro Mori, stated that the Olympics would take place regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic. IOC President Thomas Bach also recently reaffirmed the IOC’s commitment to going through with the Games, which are scheduled to begin July 23rd. Prime Minister Suga also confirmed that Japan’s intention is still set on moving forward with the Games.