The COVID-19 pandemic led to the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics planned for Tokyo to 2021. Turns out, dates for those games are already in jeopardy.
According to Jack Tarrant and Junko Fujita of Reuters, Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said the Olympics will be "scrapped" if they cannot occur in the country next year because of the virus outbreak. He also remained optimistic about the 2021 Games occurring as rescheduled.
"We have delayed the Olympics until next summer after we will have won the battle," he said.
Also on Tuesday, Japan Medical Association president Yoshitake Yokokura told reporters that Japan holding the Olympics in 2021 would be difficult without the existence of a coronavirus vaccine.
Per Justin McCurry of The Guardian, Yokokura added, "I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan ... it’s a worldwide issue."
Earlier this month, Japanese professor of infectious disease Kentaro Iwata said he doesn't believe the 2021 Games will take place. According to the Associated Press, Iwata explained that "holding the Olympics needs two conditions; one, controlling COVID-19 in Japan, and controlling COVID-19 everywhere."
"I am very pessimistic about holding the Olympic Games next summer unless you hold the Olympic Games in a totally different structure such as no audience, or a very limited participation," Iwata said.
Competitions completing games and events behind closed doors and without fans for the foreseeable future seems a lock for countries around the world. On Tuesday, Paul Nuki of The Telegraph reported that three March sporting events that included mass gatherings in England have been linked with spikes in coronavirus deaths.