As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise globally and the World Health Organization (WHO) today declared the novel coronavirus a pandemic, organizers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics reiterated that the Games will go on as planned.
Yosohiro Mori, the Tokyo Olympics Chief, said that organizers are not considering changes in the plan for the Olympics to run this summer. This runs against comments made by Tokyo organizer Haruyuki Takahashi to the Wall Street Journal published yesterday; Takahashi told the WSJ that if the Olympics can’t go on due to coronavirus, the most realistic option would be to delay the Games for 1-2 years. Takahashi, one of 25 members of the Tokyo Olympic Committee, also said that the board hasn’t met since December nor have they discussed the virus’s potential impact on the Games.
But Mori, according to The Guardian, reiterated top organizers’ stance on keeping the Games as planned. He said the organizer who suggested the delay, Takahashi, has since apologized for those comments.
“It is our basic stance that we press ahead with preparation for a safe and secure Olympics,” said Mori. “We are not at all thinking about changing courses or plans.”
Mori’s position is in line with IOC president Thomas Bach‘s comments last week in support of keeping the Games planned as they are.
Meanwhile, senior IOC figures will be in Olympia tomorrow to see the Olympic torch be lit as it begins touring through Greece and Japan before landing in Tokyo for the Opening Ceremony, beginning July 24.