IOC Meets With Florida Chief Financial Officer About Olympic Proposal

The Olympic Rings in Tokyo. Photo Courtesy: Tokyo 2020

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has been vocal about Florida having the ability to host the Olympics if Tokyo can’t in 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, writing a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) about it.

On Wednesday, Patronis met with the IOC, according to a Fox Business report.

“I had a nice visit with the IOC,” Patronis, said in the report, adding that Olympic officials “pointed out the value that Florida brings to the table – the talent, the resources, the funding that we provide. I know the Olympics want Japan. I’m just concerned Japan doesn’t want the Olympics.”

Patronis wrote a letter to IOC President Thomas Bach that touted Florida’s ability to host major sporting events during a pandemic which prompted the meeting.

While Florida has hosted major sporting events, the COVID-19 numbers are not in the state’s favor. According to the New York Times, Florida is averaging more than 10,000 new cases per week, more than double that of Japan.

In his letter, Patronis noted that Florida has been successful holding NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball games during the pandemic, and this ability demonstrates that it could host the Olympic Games if Japan is unable to fulfill its duties. The NBA finish to the regular season and playoffs were in a bubble with no fans.

The IOC and Japanese government have denied recent reports that Tokyo will bow out as host of the Games, slated to begin in July.

Patronis also referenced that Walt Disney World has been successful as a tourist destination. Florida is also set to be the site of the Super Bowl in less than two weeks, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playing in their home stadium against the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs at limited capacity.

“Whatever precautions are required let’s figure it out and get it done,” Patronis wrote in his letter to the IOC.