Tokyo Olympics Chief Voices Support for Possibility of Spectators at Games

Photo Courtesy: David Farr

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Seiko Hashimoto, the new head of the Tokyo Olympic Organization Committee, has expressed support for having fans in attendance if the Games proceed this summer.

Speaking to Asahi Shimbun, Hashimoto said she hasn’t envisioned the Olympics proceeding without spectators.

Said Hashimoto:

“When we think about the possibility of holding the Olympics without fans in the stands, athletes will definitely wonder why there are no fans just for the Olympics and Paralympics when other competitions are allowing in spectators.”

Hashimoto is newly on the top, taking over for Yoshiro Mori in February after his sexist and inflammatory comments about women in sports. The 56-year-old Hashimoto is a former Cabinet member who has participated in both the summer and winter Olympics.

The decision, Hashimoto conceded, ultimately comes down to the conditions surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic that has caused the postponement of the Games by a year. (Tokyo remains in a state of emergency as case numbers are beginning to fall.) She added that the IOC is not looking at the possibility of a second delay.

Hashimoto also acknowledged the timeline to make a decision regarding spectators due to the global logistics involved. “Everyone wants an early decision about the direction to be taken regarding fans to prepare tickets and hotel accommodations,” she said.

According to Inside The Games, 4.48 million tickets have been sold, plus 970,000 for the Paralympics. Ticket sales were forecast to generate $857 million in revenue.