International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President, John Coates, has revealed that the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics slated for next summer “will take place with or without COVID-19,” reports thehockeypaper.co.uk.
Although details are still to be ironed out over spectators and whether there will be limited attendance, Coates also forecasts that the 2020 Tokyo Games will be the “Games that conquered COVID.”
The Olympic Games have never been called off outside of the world wars, but Coates has earmarked next July as a guaranteed start date for the opening ceremony.
“It will take place with or without COVID. The Games will start on July 23 next year,” Coates told the AFP.
“The Games were going to be, their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami.
“Now very much these will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel.”
A recent poll from Japanese businesses suggested that a postponement would be a better call while Coates said it would be a “monumental task” for Tokyo organisers to host the Games.
“Before COVID, (IOC president) Thomas Bach said this is the best-prepared Games we’ve ever seen, the venues were almost all finished, they are now finished, the village is amazing, all the transport arrangements, everything is fine,” Coates added to AFP.
Coates said the IOC was putting in “something like an extra $800 million to support the international federations, whose income isn’t happening this year, and national Olympic Committees.”