Signs suggest summer dates in 2021 for games

March 30, 2020
In this March 20, 2020, file photo, Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori carries the Olympic flame during the Flame Arrival Ceremony at Japan Air Self-Defence Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.
In this March 20, 2020, file photo, Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori carries the Olympic flame during the Flame Arrival Ceremony at Japan Air Self-Defence Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Tokyo.

TOKYO (AP):

Tokyo Olympic organisers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point towards the summer of 2021.

Organising committee President Yoshiro Mori suggested there would be no major change from 2020.

"The games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September," Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Mori saying last Saturday.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, after the postponement was announced in Switzerland last Tuesday, left open the possibility of spring dates.

The postponed games were to have opened on July 24 and closed on August 9. Mori suggested some decisions could be made as early as this week when the organising committee's executive board meets.

Left in limbo

Any final decision will be made by local organisers and the IOC, and hundreds of sponsors, sports federations and broadcasters.

Athletes have been left in limbo by the postponement. Many have been forced to stop training because of the spreading coronavirus. Even those who can train have no idea about how to schedule training to reach peak fitness at the right time.

Mori and organising committee CEO Toshiro Muto have both said the added cost of rescheduling will be "enormous." Early estimates put those costs at between $2 billion-$3 billion with the several levels of the Japanese government likely to foot most of the bills.

Tokyo organisers say they are spending $12.6 billion to stage the games. However, a government audit report said it would cost at least twice that much. All but $5.6 billion is public money.

The Switzerland-based IOC has contributed $1.3 billion to organise the Tokyo Olympics, according to local organising committee documents. It has a reserve fund of about $2 billion for such emergencies and also has insurance coverage.

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