‘Next year’s Tokyo Games unlikely to be held in spring’

DM Monitoring

TOKYO: Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee president Yoshiro Mori on Saturday downplayed the Games taking place next spring.
Speaking during a TV appearance, Mori said he hoped to provide details of a new timetable for the Games by next week. A newly created task force is revising the schedule for the Olympics, which have been postponed till 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I want to offer some conclusions by the end of next week after we’ve mulled it over,” Mori told Nippon Television.
Mori indicated there would be no drastic departure from the 2020 schedule of a July 24 to August 9 Olympics followed by the Paralympics between August 25 and September 6. “The games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September,” he said, ignoring the fact that until recently, the Summer Olympics were often held in more hospitable months, such as October as in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics’ case.
Mori suggested logistics issues would deter organisers from holding the Games during spring to avoid Tokyo’s hottest months. The summer would give more time to secure volunteers and arrange qualifying events.
“It’s better for preparation time to be kept as long as possible,” he said.
Regarding additional costs incurred by the postponement of the games, Mori said he believed the burden should be shared between the local organisers and the IOC.
Olympic news website insidethegames reported on Saturday that Mori has told international federations that deciding who foots the bill for postponing the Games to 2021 will be a “major challenge”.
“The extra cost that will arise from this postponement is inevitable,” Mori wrote in a letter addressed to the 33 international federations of sports that make up the Tokyo Games programme. “Deciding who will bear these costs and how it will be done will be a major challenge.”
Mori also issued a rallying cry to deliver the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 next year and show that humans had “triumphed over the coronavirus”.
The Tokyo 2020 organising committee launched a taskforce to resolve issues linked to the postponement, such as reviewing dates for the Games and securing venues.
On Friday, the IOC said its members expressed support for the decision to postpone the Olympics after the first-ever meeting of all members by teleconference was held.
“IOC President Thomas Bach invited the IOC members to a conference call on Thursday. During the call, the IOC president and the members discussed the postponement of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. All those IOC Members who spoke expressed their full support for the decision and the decision-making procedure leading to the postponement,” the IOC said in a statement.
The organisation also issued a letter of Bach, in which he explained the decision to delay the Olympics and thanked the involved parties for the expressed support.
In a letter inviting all IOC members to the call, Bach said: “With this worldwide coronavirus crisis, we are all living with much uncertainty. In light of this situation, the IOC had to take decisions quickly, responding to a constantly evolving environment. I hope I can count on your understanding that because of the fast-moving developments, we could not always give you all the background information on a timely basis. “Now we have another unprecedented challenge ahead of us — the organisation of the postponed Olympic Games. This is a first-ever in our long Olympic history. It will be a huge undertaking because, as you are well aware, the Olympic Games are the most complex peaceful event on this planet.”