Home » today » World » Tokyo 2021: no postponement envisaged, assures IOC President

Tokyo 2021: no postponement envisaged, assures IOC President

“We are being asked to organize the Games, not to cancel them.” At the end of the first meeting of the year of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Wednesday by videoconference in front of more than 200 journalists, its president, Thomas Bach, wanted to be firm and reassuring: the Olympics will start well on July 23 , in Tokyo. If he admitted that many unknowns still hover over the biggest sporting event in the world“Even the best scientists” unable to predict the health situation of the summer – he assured that like the athletes, his committee was working “Tough, with all the determination, physical and mental strength, in the hope of successfully defeating this virus”.

2032 target

His speech was particularly expected because the rumors concerning an outright cancellation of the Olympics have been growing for several weeks. Behind this imbroglio, an article from Times, published on January 21, which affirms that behind the scenes, the Japanese authorities are already resigned, aware that between the wave of contamination that affected the country this winter and the arrival of new variants, the idea of ​​bringing in 11 000 athletes from more than 200 countries in less than six months is simply unthinkable. It is even rejected by 80% of Japanese, frightened by the possibility of seeing the number of cases explode in the wake of the arrival of athletes. And while legislative elections will be held in October, and the popularity rating of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has dropped drastically in recent months, it is hard to imagine him opposing the will of his people.

According to an internal government source quoted anonymously by the British newspaper, Japan’s goal would now be to host the 2032 Games – those of 2024 and 2028 having already been awarded to Paris and Los Angeles. Nothing credible for Thomas Bach, who mocked, without quoting it, the article in Times. If despite everything this cancellation were confirmed, it would be a first in peacetime: only the deadlines of 1916, 1940 and 1944 had not been able to be disputed until then, all in the midst of world wars. It would also be very expensive for Japan, which has already committed more than 13 billion euros to ensure the holding of the Games. And could ruin the National Olympic Committee, which derives the majority of its income from the sale of television rights to the events, just like certain national and international federations which depend closely on the IOC’s manna.

“No plan B”

Although Thomas Bach has repeatedly hammered that there was “No plan B”, some opportunists did not wait before offering their services. The Florida finance manager, Jimmy Patronis, has thus taken the liberty of sending a letter to the President of the IOC assuring that his State could, if necessary, host the Olympic Games. Thomas Bach, too, very quickly kicked in touch: “Anyone who knows the complexity of organizing games knows that it is impossible, in such a short time, to move them to another city.” So it will be Tokyo, or nothing.

Julien Lecot

– .

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.