International Olympic Committee refute report of Tokyo Olympics cancellation
Canada/IBNS: Reports of cancellation of already postponed Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to open on Aug 24, are being refuted both by the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local organizers.
Cancellation of Tokyo Olympics' reports began to spread after Tokyo and other district administrative divisions were placed under a state of emergency by the Japanese government to counter a surge of rising COVID-19 cases.
Following initial reports, Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) CEO David Shoemaker said the organization was unaware of any decisions made by the Japanese government and tweeted that the committee "has confidence that the Games can be staged safely and successfully given what has been learned in the sport over the last several months and the emphasis the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have placed on COVID-19 countermeasures."
Postponement again or cancellation of Tokyo Olympics was also favoured by Japan's public opinion largely due to the failure of Tokyo, a metropolitan area of 35 million, to contain the surge of COVId-19 pandemic cases.
IOC president Thomas Bach said there is "no Plan B" and added that measures against the virus will focus on testing, quarantines, social distancing, and keeping athletes largely isolated.
The local organizing committee said in a statement Friday, that with the support of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, the Olympics were going forward.
"All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] are fully focused on hosting the games this summer," the statement said.
"We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for safe and secure games."
Earlier in the week, senior member of IOC Richard Pound suggested that the Olympics may be held as a mostly television event without fans.
Radical changes may be needed to pull off the Tokyo Olympics, involving 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of coaches, officials, judges, VIPS, media, and broadcasters, said Bach and added that organizers were in a better position to hold the Olympics now than they were 10 months ago when the games were postponed.
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)