Following an unconfirmed report about the ‘inevitable’ cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics, organizers of the Games have stated that everything is on track. As mentioned in an official statement by the Tokyo 2020 organizers, the Japanese government is determined that the Tokyo Olympics will go ahead.
In this statement, the organizers said that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has expressed his determination to hold the event successfully while implementing thorough infection countermeasures and other precautions due to the pandemic. The statement further added, “All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC are fully focused on hosting the Games this summer. We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure Games.”
Addressing the parliament about the upcoming event and cancellation rumours, PM Suga said that the Games will be a symbol of humanity overcoming the novel coronavirus, and a chance to showcase Japan’s reconstruction from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami to the world. He said, “We are determined to work closely together with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, and the IOC to realize a safe and secure Olympics.”
Amid speculations about the cancellation of the Games, the confusion increased more when a report cited an unnamed senior member of the Japanese government and reported that authorities had privately concluded that the Olympics could not proceed due to the ongoing pandemic. However, officials in Tokyo, including PM Suga, were quick to deny the claims.
Even Olympic officials from other countries refuted the rumour. Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll said, “Unfortunately, I need to address unfounded rumours that Tokyo Games will be cancelled, rumours that only create more anxiety for the athletes in our sports. The Tokyo Games are on. The flames will be lit on the 23rd of July 2021.”
In a thread on Twitter, Canadian Olympic chief David Shoemaker wrote that his team is unaware of any decision taken by the Japanese government as is being reported. He further added that the Canadian Olympic Committee has confidence that the Games can be staged safely and successfully given what has been learned in the last several months and the emphasis the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee have placed on Covid-19 countermeasures.
In November last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach had promised the athletes that they will have an unforgettable experience at the Tokyo Olympic Games. And he is still quite confident that the Games will happen successfully this year.