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Japan to explore 'simplified' Olympics

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike believes it could be necessary to a stage a “simplified” Olympics...



Japan to explore 'simplified'...
Other Sports

Japan to explore 'simplified' Olympics

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike believes it could be necessary to a stage a “simplified” Olympics next year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government were forced in March to postpone the 2020 Olympics for one year due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

The games will instead take place in July and August next summer but the event could have a very different feel to it because of the pandemic.

However, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has previously said that the Olympics and Paralympics should be held in a "complete form" and he was also against the idea of reducing the scale of the games.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike told reporters, "We hope to work together with the government and the Tokyo organizing committee to look into what can be rationalized and simplified.

"It will be necessary in order to gain empathy and understanding from the public."

It's believed the Tokyo organizing committee and the IOC are already in discussions about revisions to their operational plans to reduce costs and adopt measures against the virus.

The changes could include a reduction in the number of spectators and a scaling back of the opening and closing ceremonies of both the Olympics and Paralympics.

The provision of medical services, including testing for athletes, staff and spectators, and restrictions on outings from the athletes' village are also being talked about as possible measures against the threat of coronavirus.

The head of the IOC's inspectorate for Tokyo, John Coates said a lack of a defence against the virus was a threat to next summer's Games so organisers have to start planning for what could be a "very different" Olympics if COVID-19 continued to be a problem.

There have been in the region of 900 deaths from coronavirus in Japan with around 17,000 infections detected.

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