New one-year countdown to Tokyo Olympics begins
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: For now, Tokyo has more questions than answers as the Japanese city marks the one-year countdown for the rescheduled Olympic Games.
There will not be any big-time celebrations this time, especially with too much uncertainty over whether the Games will go ahead next year due to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On July 24 last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach presided over a glitzy ceremony in the Japanese capital and declared Tokyo the best prepared host city he had ever seen. Just two months later, however, plans that had been almost a decade in the making were shredded as the COVID-19 pandemic forced the IOC and Japanese government to take the unprecedented decision to postpone the Games, marking the worst disruption to an Olympics since two editions were cancelled during World War II.
Even now, there is no guarantee that the Games will be held in a year's time if one goes by the official word. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe was one of the first to raise doubts as to whether the Games will go ahead as per revised schedule in the post coronavirus pandemic scenario. Athletics like other key sports has seen its calendar and finances badly hit by the postponement of the Games.
Tokyo 2020 Games Organising Committe President Yoshiro Mori was bang on target while saying that it will be impossible to hold the Games unless a vaccine is found to contain the virus. Though many other sports events have resumed without fans, Mori ruled out that possibility completely in the case of Olympics, which is the largest sporting spectacle on earth.
Tokyo residents have overwhelmingly voted in favour of either rescheduling or cancelling the Olympics altogether as they fear holding the Games amidst the pandemic will spell doom for the country as a whole. Most of those backing a delay or cancellation said they simply did not believe the pandemic could be contained in time for the Games.