Senior IOC Member Says ‘Barring an Armageddon’ the Olympic Games Will Take Place

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Senior IOC Member Says ‘Barring an Armageddon’ the Olympic Games Will Take Place

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound stated on Friday that this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo will take place “barring an Armageddon.” The comments from Pound, who is the IOC’s longest-serving committee member, come a day after the Asahi Shimbun newspaper called for the cancellation of the Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising cases of the virus throughout Japan.

The newspaper, in an editorial, pressed the Japanese government to make the decision to cancel. Many cities in Japan are currently in a state of emergency, and it is expected that those declarations will be extended. Pound, however, commented that he felt the Games could take place safely for all involved.

“I really don’t know what the issue is other than you’ve got a well-informed, scientific group in contact with public health, which say that there’s no incremental risk going ahead with the Games to the Japanese,” Pound told Standard Sport, according to Inside the Games. “The people coming for the large measure will be vaccinated, will upon arrival be put in a bubble and kept in a bubble until they go back home. Organizers have now changed gears and they’re in the operational part of it. Barring armageddon that we can’t see or anticipate, these things are a go.”

Earlier this week, the U.S. State Department placed a “Level 4: Do Not Travel” advisory on Japan, citing the nation’s increase in COVID cases. It is estimated that the Tokyo Games have cost up to $17 billion.