Tokyo Olympics CEO Toshiro Muto has pointed out the stark reality that comes with the uncertainty about the future spread of the novel coronavirus (or any treatments to stop that spread).
After the 2020 Olympic Games were officially postponed to 2021 back on March 24 due to the pandemic, the general feeling was that would be more than enough time to bring the crisis under control. But Muto warns everyone that even the one-year hiatus may be ambitious.
“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Muto told reporters on Friday, speaking through an interpreter at a news conference conducted remotely. “We’re certainly not in a position to give you a clear answer.
“We have made the decision to postpone the Games by one year. So this means that all we can do is work hard to prepare for the Games. We sincerely hope that come next year mankind will manage to overcome the coronavirus crisis.”
Asked if there were any contingency plans if 2021 were to fall through, Muto opted to focus on the current issues at hand.
“Rather than think about alternatives plans, mankind should bring together all of its technology and wisdom to work hard so they can develop treatments, medicines and vaccines,” he said.
The 76-year-old was also unsure if the Games would be covered by insurance if they were to be cancelled altogether.
“Tokyo 2020 has taken out several insurance policies,” he said. “But whether the postponement of the Games qualifies as an event that is covered is not clear yet.”
COVID-19 cases in Japan have surged over the last few days, including a jump from 4,667 on Thursday to 5,530 on Friday.
As of now, the Tokyo Olympic Games are scheduled for July 23-August 8, 2021.