After a state of emergency was declared in Japan’s capital two weeks ago following a record number of cases, public opinion appeared to turn against the Games. The highest-profile former athlete to call for a cancellation was Olympic legend Sir Matthew Pinsent who won 10 world championship gold medals and four consecutive Olympic gold medals and after worked as a sports broadcaster with the BBC. He suggested, Tokyo should stage the Games in 2024 instead, with subsequent hosts Paris and Los Angeles both shifted back four years. Taro Kono then became the first Japanese cabinet minister to break ranks, admitting “anything could happen.” An undisclosed Japanese government source transmotted that ministers had privately conceded the event would have to be cancelled, and they would now focus on securing the next available slot in 2032.
Major decisions must be taken and is without doubts a very difficult mission to communicate publicly the next steps. The IOC president Thomas Bach, last week, said there was currently “no reason whatsoever” to believe the Games would not start as planned in July, and that there was no need for a ‘Plan B’. On Friday, Bach spent time trying to reassure national Olympic committees around the world – and by extension sponsors and broadcasters – that he was adamant the Games would proceed. Whatever will happen, a thing is known: Tokyo Oympics is about a Games like no other.We all we see.