Will the 2020 Tokyo Olympics take place?
If the Summer Olympics go ahead as planned this will be the 3rd time Tokyo has been awarded the games. However, they have only hosted the games once back in 1964. The first time they were awarded the games was back in 1940 but these games had to be moved to war breaking out between Japan and China in 1937 the games were then subsequently moved to Helsinki. Three years later they had to be cancelled due to the outbreak of World War 2.
They had then been awarded them again in 1964 which went ahead as planned. Now we look at 2020 a year which they might be cancelled again this time, not a world war but a worldwide pandemic. World athletics boss Lord Coe and former Chair of the London organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games has today called for the upcoming summer games to be postponed, this comes after this morning an announcement from Canada saying they have withdrawn all participation from this summer’s games.
Imagine being the host country having pumped nearly 10.84 billion pounds (last figures published back in 2017) into your countries future games having 7 years to prepare for the Olympic Games. Japan could lose billions if these games are cancelled and even more, could be lost if they happened to be subsequently moved to another country there is a very small rumour London might be an alternative to step up if they needed. This was said nearly a month ago by Shaun Bailey who is the conservative candidate for Mayor of London. ‘London can host Games if moved over coronavirus’ this has since been hushed by British sporting officials, but it is an interesting concept.
London 2012 has only 4 structures left which were purposely built for London 2012; The Olympic Stadium now plays host to West Ham United in a deal which still shocks any businessman or women, the Aquatics Centre without the heightened seating still operates for people to use as a swimming pool, the Velodrome is still used today in perfect similarity to its London 2012 design and lastly the Copper Box which hosted an event nearly every day was the most used venue at London 2012 and still is used for multipurpose indoor sporting events. The biggest ever McDonald’s is a distant memory as well as the huge amounts of catering outlets and shops which took up the Olympic Park. London was hugely successful environmentally compared to Rio which sees its venues in ruin and derelict.
So, what for Tokyo well we should find out in the next 4 weeks when sometime in that time the IOC will meet to further discuss this. But no one knows. Plenty of rumours including it coming back to the UK, but I believe and hope it stays in Tokyo whether this year or another year. I think personally it has to help the country financially yes it can be seen in the last two Olympics how they can either be successful or not successful after the games have finished. But when a country spends so long and so much money into planning and constructing, I think it’s only right and fair for the IOC to honour them with allowing them to continue to host.
The world is unsettled currently but we will come together in the future to celebrate our countries sporting greats but when this happens no one as yet knows but as long as it’s safe I think we can all agree this is the utmost importance. But it would be an Olympic first if they were cancelled on a non-World War basis. The 1920 Games went ahead even after the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic which killed close to 500 million people globally. Let’s just hope and pray we don’t reach anywhere near them numbers during COVID-19.