London Olympics 2012 chief Sir Keith Mills can’t see games happening in Tokyo

Amidst the growing uncertainty surrounding Tokyo Olympics due to the rising cases of coronavirus in the country, London Olympics 2012 chief Sir Keith Mills insists that the Games are “unlikely” to happen. Sir Mills was the deputy chairman of the London Organising Committee for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live, he said, “Looking at the pandemic around the world, in South America, in North America, in Africa and across Europe, it looks unlikely. If I was sitting in the shoes of the organising committee in Tokyo, I would be making plans for cancellation and I’m sure they have plans for a cancellation. I think they will leave it until absolutely the last minute in case the situation improves dramatically, in case the vaccinations roll out faster than we all hope.”

Mills further explained how the cancellation can be an economic tragedy as there would be a major financial impact for hundreds of national Olympic committees and sports federations that rely almost entirely on the money the Games generates.

After the 2020 Olympics were postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak all around the world, Tokyo organisers and the International Olympic Committee want the Games to happen in July this year. With a fresh wave of infections with variant strains sweeping the globe, Japan is currently in a state of emergency to prepare for the mega event. However, the Tokyo 2020 organising committee spokesman Masa Takaya said last week that there is no ongoing discussion about a further delay or cancellation of the Olympics.

Even World Athletics president Sebastian Coe seems optimistic about the event. He told Sky News that he doesn’t think that the Games will be cancelled. Coe said, “It is going to be a challenge, we know that it is pretty self-evident and there will be adaptions. But of all the countries on the planet that has the fortitude and the resilience to see this through, it is Japan. I wake up as a federation president grateful that Japan is dealing with this and not some other places I could think of.”

Despite Coe’s confidence, the current situation is not making it easy for the athletes. More than 11,000 athletes from around 200 countries were scheduled to take part in the 2020 Games. Right now, there is no clarity about how that will happen since Japan’s borders are closed to foreign visitors. If the Games don’t take place in 2021 summer, it would have to be cancelled as earlier stated by Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympics Committee (IOC).

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