Tokyo Olympics to start on July 23, 2021

Japan 2020

A visitor wearing a face mask stands near the Olympic rings at Tokyo’s Odaiba district Tuesday, March 24, 2020. The Tokyo Olympics are probably going to happen, but almost surely in 2021 rather than in four months as planned. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — UPDATE | The Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been rescheduled to open July 23, 2021. The Games will run through Aug. 8.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

ORIGINAL STORY | Tokyo Olympic organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point toward the summer of 2021.

Organizing 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 on Saturday.

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

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

Any final decision will be made between local organizers 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 virus. Even those who can train have no idea about how to schedule training to reach peak fitness at the right time.

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

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

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

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