New York / Tokyo. The postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo will probably take place at the same time in the summer of next year. According to reports from Japan and the USA, the restart could take place with an opening ceremony on July 23, 2021. The closing ceremony would, therefore, be on August 8th. The games canceled due to the Corona crisis were originally scheduled for July 24 to August 9, 2020.
A summer appointment would be welcome for the German Olympic Sports Association. “The postponement by exactly one year would be a very understandable decision,” DOSB boss Alfons Hormann told the German press agency on Sunday. “”Team Germany will prepare and prepare professionally for each of the possible periods.””
Table tennis world association president Thomas Weikert also considers the summertime to be acceptable. “If you look closely, it’s realistic. But it is far from ideal, ”he said on Sunday after a conference call by the ITTF Executive Committee. Weikert initially preferred the spring of 2021, since from June 17th to 26th the World Cup in table tennis single was awarded to Houston / USA. “We won’t change anything on this date,” he said.
Spring is not an option
The International Olympic Committee and the organizers in Tokyo had agreed on the appointment next summer, the New York Times reported. The Japanese television broadcaster NHK cited information from the organizing committee that the summer date is preferred as an option. The Paralympics would take place from August 24th to September 5th. There was no confirmation of this. On request, the IOC announced on Sunday that these were “speculations”.
However, the statements of the President of the Japanese Organizing Committee also indicate that a staging period in spring 2021, which was not excluded by IOC President Thomas Bach, probably no longer plays a role due to the much shorter preparation time. “The games are supposed to take place in the summer, so we should think of time between June and September”, the Japanese news agency Kyodo quoted the OK boss Yoshiro Mori.
According to the report by TV broadcaster NHK, the Japanese organizers, together with the IOC and the metropolitan government in Tokyo, hope to be able to make a decision by the end of the week. The Tokyo OK executive committee meets on Monday.
At a conference call on Thursday with the 33 international sports associations, the IOC had discussed, among other things, a new date for games in Tokyo. The newly founded task force also started work on Thursday. The working group with the official name “Tokyo 2020 Restart Task Force” has around 30 members and is led by Mori.
Some sports associations had proposed Olympics in the spring, also to avoid the summer heat. The criticism of the games being played in the extremely hot months of July and August would have had consequences for the games scheduled for this year. The men’s and women’s marathon races would have been held in Sapporo, where the climate is milder.
Meanwhile, the additional cost of the shift is likely to become a matter of dispute. In a letter to the 33 world associations, according to a report by the industry service “Insidethegames”, Mori explicitly referred to the financial impact. “Deciding who will pay these costs and how to do it will be a major challenge,” he wrote. The additional costs are estimated at two to three billion dollars.