Tokyo (TEH) – The crisis meeting of the Olympic makers in the futuristic sports center in Tokyo took less than two hours before the thousands of athletes had planning security again.
The Olympic Games, which have been postponed to next year because of the corona pandemic, will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021 – almost exactly one year after the original date. The Japanese organizers and the IOC announced on Monday. The upcoming tasks until the opening ceremony are huge.
“Humanity is currently in a dark tunnel. These Tokyo Olympics can be a light at the end of this tunnel, “said IOC President Thomas Bach, who had previously been called by phone, in the official announcement of the International Olympic Committee. Originally, the Summer Games were to be held from July 24th to August 9th this year, the Corona crisis made that impossible. The Paralympics, which have also been relocated, for this reason, will now begin on August 24, 2021, in Tokyo.
Yoshiro Mori, President of the Japanese Olympic Committee, emphasized the importance of the new appointment as a “cornerstone”. “I am convinced that this swift decision will help speed up preparations.” As already planned for this year, the Olympics should also start in 2021 just twelve days after the final of the European Football Championship, which has also been postponed to next year.
Bach had not previously ruled out an earlier appointment in the spring months. But after the first consultations with the organizers, the participating sports associations, TV stations and donors, the organizers decided on the new date in the summer months. Three things had been taken into account: protecting the health of everyone involved, protecting the interests of athletes and Olympic sports, and the international sports calendar, the IOC said.
The new appointments would give the health authorities and the organizers “the maximum time” to deal with the constantly changing conditions. “I am confident that we can (…) tackle this unprecedented challenge,” said Bach. Japan is faced with enormous economic and logistical tasks that no other country in the world has had to deal with in sports history to date.
The hotels in the metropolis have to rebook thousands of guests. The real estate company, which will convert the Olympic village into apartments after the games, will have to postpone the renovation planning by a year and potentially renegotiate thousands of contracts with buyers of the apartments. It is also important to recruit and coordinate enough volunteers again next year. The additional cost of postponing the games, including maintenance costs for the Olympic sites, is estimated at two to three billion dollars. If there are more, it’s no surprise.
Some sports associations had proposed spring 2021 as the time for the event, also in order to avoid the summer heat. Criticism of this year’s date of the games in the extremely hot months of July and August has already had consequences. The men’s and women’s marathon races would have been held in Sapporo, where the climate is milder.
With the decision for summer 2021, the heat problem will arise again. In addition, there is the completely unclear situation as to whether and by when the coronavirus can be contained worldwide. With the specific dates as the goal, the Tokyo city government will “provide all of its resources” and work closely with everyone involved to host safe games, said Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, who recently asked her fellow citizens to stay home and even limit the exit hinted.
Until the announcement of the postponement of the games a week ago, it had looked as if the Olympic host had slowly got the corona infections under control. But just with the announcement of the relocation of the games, the infection numbers in Tokyo rose again significantly.
The rapid increase in infections in Tokyo and the suddenly drastic measures taken by the state to contain the pathogen had given rise to suspicions that the state had deliberately understated the extent of the spread – in the hope that the games could take place as planned. With the postponement, the state no longer has any reason to hide the numbers, many citizens in Japan suspect. There have been allegations for a long time that Japan tests much less than other countries – supposedly to keep the infection rate low.
Former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama was Governor Koike on Twitter before: “Her principle was not” The Citizen First “but” Olympia First “. As of Sunday, Japan counted 2,578 confirmed cases of infection, including 712 among people aboard a cruise ship. According to the Tokyo Ministry of Health, 64 deaths have so far been reported.