The Olympics that are set to take place in Tokyo this summer might be called off. According to a report from The Times of London, the Japanese government has privately concluded the Olympics will have to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The report states Japan is now focused on potentially hosting the Olympics in 2032.
Recent polls show that 80% of Japanese people are against having the Olympics this year. The Japanese government and the International Olympic Committee have publicly said the games can happen, but the winter wave of COVID-19 cases in Japan has made it difficult to host the international event.
"No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it's too difficult," the source said in the report. "Personally, I don't think it's going to happen." Shortly after the report from The Times of London was released, a Tokyo Olympics rep said there are zero plans of canceling the summer games.
"All our delivery partners including the national government, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the IOC and the IPC [International Paralympic Committee] are fully focused on hosting the games this summer," officials said in a statement, as reported by TMZ. "We hope that daily life can return to normal as soon as possible, and we will continue to make every effort to prepare for a safe and secure games."
The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee also believes the games will go on as scheduled, saying: "We have not received any information suggesting the Games will not happen as planned. And our focus remains on the health and preparedness of Team USA athletes ahead of the Games this summer."
The Olympics are set to begin on Friday, Jul. 23 and end on Sunday, Aug. 8. Originally, the Tokyo Games were set to take place from Jul. 24 to Aug. 9, 2020, but were postponed. In September, an IOC official said the games will take place this year, no matter the circumstances.
"It will take place with or without COVID," IOC vice president John Coates said to news agency AFP. "The Games were going to be their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami. "Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel."