Decisions, decisions for Tokyo 2020
Published on January 4th, 2021
Tokyo, Japan (January 4, 2021) – The countdown clock today for the postponed Tokyo Olympics hit 200 days to go.
Also today, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would consider calling a state of emergency as new coronavirus cases surge to record numbers in Tokyo and neighboring prefectures. Japan has never had a lockdown for COVID-19, attempting to juggle the economy and health risks.
It’s nearing deadline time for Tokyo Olympic organizers, the International Olympic Committee, and various Japanese government entities as they try to pull off the Games in the middle of a pandemic.
Officials have promised to announce concrete plans early in the new year about how to get 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into Japan; about the safety of the Athletes Village, and hundreds of thousands of fans, media, judges, officials, broadcasters, and VIPs.
The new year is here.
Suga pledged again to hold the Olympics, saying it would be “proof that people have overcome the coronavirus.” And he said vaccine approval would be speeded up by a month so that vaccinations could begin in February instead of March.
Japan has attributed more than 3,400 deaths to COVID-19, modest by global standards for a country of 125 million, but worrying as new cases rise quickly. A poll last month by national broadcaster NHK show 63% want the Olympics postponed or canceled.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and the governors of Saitama, Chiba, and Kanagawa prefectures asked the national government on January 2 to declare the state of emergency after the capital saw a daily record of 1,337 new cases on New Year’s Eve. That marked a jump of almost 400 in just a few days.
Yoshiro Mori, the president of the organizing committee and a former prime minister, again ruled out any cancellation of the Games in an interview several days ago with the Nikkan Sports newspaper. He was asked when a decision would come about having local fans or fans from abroad.
“Sometime from March through May,” he replied. “The final deadline for a decision would be May, but it may come sooner.”
Any reduction in fans will hit the organizing committee budget. Tokyo has budgeted $800 million for ticket sales, and any shortfall will have to be made up by government entities, which are footing most of the Olympic bills.
The official budget for the Tokyo Olympics was increased last month to $15.4 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion because of the delay. However, several government audits the last few years suggest the real number is about $25 billion.
Source: Associated Press
Tokyo Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17
Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021