Tokyo 2020 CEO Muto: There Are No Guarantees The Games Will Go Ahead In July 2021

tokyo 2021 - Olympic Games - Olympics

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto admits there are no guarantees that the rescheduled Olympic Games will go ahead as planned next year as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc across the world.

The International Olympic Committee postponed the Games for the first time in their history last month as the death toll rose daily.

Olympic trials worldwide and sports events were cancelled and lockdown in many countries meant there was no access to training facilities and postponement was inevitable.

The IOC then announced the Games would take place from  23 July-8 August, a delay of a year minus one day, with  the Paralympic Games also announced as running from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

Tokyo 2020

Photo Courtesy: Guy Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

At the time Japan was pretty much carrying on as normal with four-time Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima telling Swimming World in an exclusive interview that he was “a little bit sceptical as to whether people in Tokyo really understand about this virus.”

A state of emergency was declared on Wednesday accompanied by a partial lockdown although many restaurants and bars remained open.

Currently Japan have reported roughly 5,000 cases with 100 deaths.

Now, Muto admits he cannot provide any guarantees that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will start on 23 July 2021 as planned.

In a remote teleconference reported by the Associated Press, Muto spoke through a translator, saying:

“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not.

”We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”

He added:

“We have made the decision to postpone the games by one year. So this means that all we can do is work hard to prepare for the games. We sincerely hope that come next year mankind will manage to overcome the coronavirus crisis.”


Courtesy of: IOC

Of whether there is an alternative should the pandemic wreak more havoc with the Games with fears of a second wave of Covid-19, Muto said:

“Rather than think about alternatives plans, we should put in all of our effort.

“Mankind should bring together all of its technology and wisdom to work hard so they can development treatments, medicines and vaccines.”


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  1. Montserrat Hidalgo

    Given the actual situation around the world, it is obvious that July 2021 might be a very optimistic date to host the Games. Until a safe vaccine is available for everyone, massive events will be a BIG no no. Wether we like it or not.

    • Peter Scott

      Montserrat Hidalgo correct this is not going away anytime soon…….are we at the start, middle or near the end of this crisis??? Probably nearer the start than the end sadly??stay safe?

  2. Mike Mcgowan

    Although it was smart to postpone still a big question mark on this. I hope a breakthrough happens some of these kids it will be their only chance.

  3. Martin Levine

    Until the vaccine is found it’s either 2022 or scrap all together 🙁

  4. Julie Tellier

    This is Ridiculous!! The Flu Vaccine isn’t even a guarantee. Jesus people, the survival rate is at 98%. Everyone acts like this is death sentence. I can’t do this drama!