Could the Tokyo Olympics still be canceled amid COVID surge?
A view of the Olympic Stadium with Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games branding.  SOPA Images

Could the Tokyo Olympics still be canceled amid COVID-19 surge?

If you're surprised the Olympic Games in Tokyo are still kicking off as scheduled, well, there's still a chance they might not happen.

Per ESPN, the organizing committee chief for Tokyo 2020 said in a news conference Tuesday that the option to scrap the Games due to the rise in COVID-19 cases is still very much on the table.

"We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises."

Saying that "cases may rise" at this point is almost redundant, given Tokyo already recorded 1,387 cases Tuesday. 

Cases in Japan continue to rise in the midst of a state of emergency that is banning spectators from attending the Games. There have been 67 cases since July 1 that are tied to the Games, with two new cases among athletes popping up just this weekend. 

The continued rise in positive tests has pushed major sponsors for the Games to back out of the opening ceremonies on Friday, ESPN said.

Muto's comments about potentially canceling the Games come just a couple of days after Olympic chief Thomas Bach commented that the Games are completely safe and then urged residents in Japan to welcome the Olympic athletes with open arms.

Chelena Goldman grew up on a street where the boys played street hockey and yelling at baseball and football over the radio was a standard -- making life as a sports geek the perfect fit. She believes in dominance on the blue line, good red wine, and the theory that you can never be too overdressed for any occasion. You can find her gabbing away on Twitter at @ChelenaGoldman.

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