IOC Says Increasingly Confident Tokyo Olympics Can Go Ahead
(Bloomberg) -- The International Olympic Committee said it’s gaining confidence that it will be possible to hold the Tokyo games in July, as work on a safety “playbook” nears a conclusion.
“We are gaining even more confidence from the effectiveness of the countermeasures which are being applied at sports events right now around the world,” President Thomas Bach said during a press conference on Wednesday. None of the 7,000 events organized by international federations over the past year have turned into hot spots, he said.
The IOC’s job is to organize games, “not cancel them,” Bach said. The organization is “fully concentrated and committed” to holding the Tokyo games this year, he said, while acknowledging speculation on whether the games would go ahead.
Japan has spent more than $26 billion to prepare its capital for the games originally scheduled for last year, according to some estimates. Some 600,000 foreign visitors and more than 11,000 athletes were originally expected to attend. It’s still too early to say exactly what measures are needed to hold safe games and if crowds will be permitted, but the IOC is working with multiple organizations to come up with a plan, he said.
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