Tokyo Olympics CEO: Games Far From A Guarantee To Run In 2021

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.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency earlier this week in an effort to halt the spread of the virus in the country. The declaration covers Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka.

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.

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(fetal position, sobbing, grabs Celine Dion album and a tub of ice cream)

Corn Pop

I cannot see i t happening . I saw a KL quote somewhere about the 21 thing being a c e lebration of the whole world coming together in celebration , I wanted to barf.Things may never be the same , that there may never be a vaccine is an equal outlook.


What are you smoking??

Corn Pop

What do you think will happen Jen? Which way will it go ?


If it happens, it will be with few spectators.


The problem is how do we actually learn from covid19 experience to avoid it happening again? We gotta Look at how it all began and learn from there … there’s no point if this happens again this time next year


Drama much?




With Verram on this. There can often be further “waves” with pandemics, and whilst one hopes we have learned from history; the lack of preparedness that has been exposed in some countries has shown that many countries have not and are battling to handle this first wave. Maybe we will “get lucky” and only have the one but until a successful vaccine is established; there has to be significant caution. TBH, the 12 month shift by the IOC was very optimistic both on the score of Tokyo being sufficiently back “up and running’ and more importantly on the score of most competitors being anywhere near “condition”. 2022 would probably have been a more realistic call …… and may be the… Read more »

Are you all happy

That didn’t take long – I predicted when the new dates for the 2020 Games were announced, there would be ppl who would freak over that. Vaccine or no, second (or third or fourth or fifth or sixth) wave or no, these games will go on as scheduled in 2021, with little to no risk to the athletes or spectators. There is no public health or elected official in the world who would voice objections over the Games in July and August of 2021, and those are the decision-makers. If you doomsday-ers have a problem with that, you are welcome to stay house-bound for the remainder of your lives, fearful of your own (and other peoples’) shadows, while the rest… Read more »

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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