According to a report from CNN News, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto has confirmed that canceling the Olympics, which are set to begin in 3 days, is still on the table. Muto spoke at a press conference on Tuesday and offered the following remarks:
“We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future. So as for what to do should there be any surge of positive cases, we’ll discuss accordingly if that happens,”
“During the last five-party talk, it was clearly stated we’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, and a five-party talk will be held if necessary.”
The 5 parties that Muto refers to are the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Japanese government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government, and the International Paralympic Committee.
The statement from Muto comes just days before the opening ceremonies of the Games which are scheduled to occur on Friday, July 23. Despite preventative measures, COVID-19 case numbers continue to rise in the Japanese capital and according to a report from Kyodo News, the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee announced 9 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, July 20 which brings the total Games-related cases up to 67.
Tokyo entered into a state of emergency on Thursday, July 8, the same day they reported 896 cases of COVID-19 and 1 day after they had reported 920 new cases on July 7, 2021. That 920 case total on July 7 was the highest single-day caseload reported by the city of Tokyo since May 13, 2021, when they recorded 1,010 new cases of the virus.
As the cancellation of the Tokyo Games becomes more likely with rising case numbers, world Sportsbooks have begun to take wagers on the possibility of the Games being cut short.
According to Irish book Paddy Power, “with news of the IOC refusing to rule out the cancellation of this year’s Olympics, the chance of the Games being cut short is now looking more and more likely.” Bookmakers have rated the chances of Tokyo ending early as short as 4/1 which, according to Power, puts an implied 17% probability on the Games ending early.
In addition to overall cancellation, bookmakers have also placed odds on individual sports that are most likely to be canceled, with individual contact sports carrying the strongest odds for cancellation. Artistic swimming is included on the list, but that is likely because of the timing (the last gold medal is given on August 7, very late in the Games), and the nature of the sport meaning that a few positive tests could knock a lot of teams out of the competition.
MOST LIKELY EVENTS TO BE CANCELLED