Tokyo Olympics: Signs suggest summer dates for 2021 Olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Signs suggest summer dates for 2021 Olympics

Monday, March 30, 2020

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TOKYO, Japan (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organisers seem to be shying away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point toward the summer of 2021.

Organising committee President Yoshiro Mori suggested there would be no major change from 2020.

“The Games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September,” Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Mori saying on Saturday.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, after the postponement was announced in Switzerland on Tuesday, left open the possibility of spring dates.

The postponed Games were to have opened on July 24 and closed on August 9. Mori suggested some decisions could be made as early as this week, when the organising committee's executive board meets.

Any final decision will be made between local organisers and the IOC, and hundreds of sponsors, sports federations and broadcasters.

Athletes have been left in limbo by the postponement. Many have been forced to stop training because of the spreading novel coronavirus disease. Even those who can train have no idea about how to schedule training to reach peak fitness at the right time.

Mori and organising committee CEO Toshiro Muto have both said the added cost of rescheduling will be “enormous”. Early estimates put those costs at between US$2-3 billion, with the several levels of the Japanese Government likely to foot most of the bills.

Tokyo organisers say they are spending US$12.6 billion to stage the Games. However, a government audit report said it will cost at least twice that much. All but US$5.6 billion is public money.

The Switzerland-based IOC has contributed US$1.3 billion to organise the Tokyo Olympics, according to local organising committee documents. It has a reserve fund of about US$2 billion for such emergencies and also has insurance coverage.

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