olympics tokyo 2020
Photo: Joel Papalini/DreamstimeOlympic rings and statue of Pierre de Coubertin near the new national stadium in Tokyo

Tokyo Olympics will be held next year 'with or without Covid', says IOC VP

IOC Vice President John Coates says the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games will go ahead

Kasey Furutani
Written by
Kasey Furutani

Despite the constant obstacles caused by Covid-19 coronavirus, it seems like the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games might still reign victorious. Of course, the Games cannot defeat the virus, but John Coates, the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Vice President and the head of the Coordination Commission for the Tokyo Games, has claimed that the Olympic Games will go on.

‘It will take place with or without Covid. The Games will start on July 23 next year,’ Coates told AFP (via The Japan Times). According to Coates, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, originally themed as the Reconstruction Games after Japan’s devastating 3/11 earthquake and tsunami, will very much be the Games that conquered the pandemic – ‘the light at the end of the tunnel,’ he says.

A task force of IOC members and Tokyo 2020 organisers are looking at how coronavirus will affect the Olympics next year, which might include allowing athletes to skip the mandatory 14-day quarantine required of people arriving in Japan. Organisers are figuring out how spectators, albeit likely to be limited, will be able to watch the Games safely, Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said on Friday. 

Coronavirus caused the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in March, the first in history. Previously, the Olympics were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 because of war. The 1940 Summer Olympics were initially supposed to be held in Tokyo. 

The Olympics are expected to be held next year from July 23 to August 8 while the Paralympics are scheduled between August 24 to September 5 2021. 

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