The vice president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said the postponed Tokyo Olympic games will happen next year “with or without Covid”.
Speaking to news agency AFP, IOC’s VP John Coates said: “It will take place with or without Covid. The Games will start on July 23 next year.”
The Tokyo Olympics were originally scheduled to begin this summer in July but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Coates also said next year’s Olympics will be the “Games that conquered Covid”.
“The Games were going to be their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,” Coates told AFP, referring to the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.
“Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Back in July, the Tokyo 2020’s chief executive Toshiro Muto said it’s likely that the Olympic Games next year will have a “limited” audience in attendance, adding that the Games will possibly “simplify” its opening and closing ceremonies.
Muto also spoke on how a vaccine for coronavirus could affect the Games, saying: “If a vaccine is ready, that will be a benefit, but we’re not saying we can’t hold the event without it – it’s not a precondition.”