Tokyo Olympics Boss: Games Would be Canceled Rather Than Pushed to 2022 if Virus Still a Threat

“This is a gamble by the human race,” Yoshiro Mori said in an interview with Japanese outlet Nikkan Sports

Last Updated: May 6, 2020 @ 5:39 AM

If the coronavirus still remains a threat to public safety by next summer, the Tokyo Olympics would be canceled outright rather than be pushed another year to 2022, the president of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee said.

“At that time it is canceled. If such a problem as war occurs in the past, it is usually canceled,” Yoshiro Mori, told Nikkan Sports. The Modern Olympics have been canceled three times due to World Wars: In 1916, 1940 and 1944.

On March 30, organizers announced new dates for the Games to begin July 23, 2021 — almost one year after this summer’s event was scheduled to take place until the coronavirus pandemic uprooted plans. “This is a gamble by the human race,” Mori added. “If we can hold the Olympics after the world beats the virus, the games will have many times more value than in the past.”

Mori’s comments come a few weeks after Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo Olympics said he was unsure the Games will be held in 2021.

“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Muto said via a translator during a press conference. “We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”

The price of the postponement on organizers has been estimated to be in the billions, with most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers, according to the Associated Press.

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