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Are the 2021 Tokyo Olympics in Trouble?

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A woman poses for a photo with the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

By Evan Weiner |

The head of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Committee Casey Wasserman is concerned about the 2021 Tokyo Olympics and the possibility there will be no 2021 event. Wasserman was on a Bill Simmons podcast and told the host that the Tokyo 2021 Olympics can be truly special if it happens. The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics was postponed for a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 cases are increasing in Japan and there is a fight among the Japan Olympics organizers and the Japanese government about the cost of delaying the event and who should be paying the extra expenses that are going to be due. There is no guarantee that there will be a 2021 Tokyo Games. There needs to be a cure for COVID-19 whether that comes from a drug treatment or a vaccine. Japan’s government has declared a state of emergency which means in sports neither the baseball nor soccer leagues are able to stage games.

Wasserman did not build into LA 2028 Olympic bid a pandemic possibility. He also said that the 2021 Tokyo event is not in the hands of the organizers or the International Olympic Committee. The people who never compete for a Gold, Silver or Bronze medal are in charge. Scientists, researchers and medical people. “I do think, if there is some medical successes to be had between now and 2021 and the Olympics go off in Tokyo, I actually think it has the opportunity to bring the world together in a truly special, unique way,” he said. It may just reignite people’s passion for hosting the Olympic Games and the value of what people talk about as Olympism. A global pandemic where no one would be allowed to leave their house was definitely not something we’d ever thought about.” The sports world is trying to get back on its feet but the COVID-19 epidemic has become a devastating opponent.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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