For China, Tokyo 2020 is Just The Start of A Very Busy Two Years.

                              by David Parmer / Tokyo

There are a lot of expressions to explain the situation surrounding the Tokyo Olympics (Rescheduled) 2020. For example “up in the air”  “undecided”  “unclear” “murky” “fuzzy” “hazy” etc.

From all the news that is available from Japan and the IOC it seems that the rescheduling of the 2020 Olympics will be decided in the spring of 2021. And it seems clear that summer 2021 is “it” i.e. it is either next summer or not at all.

The other news for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 (Rescheduled) is that even if it is held, it will be scaled down in terms of fewer spectators at events and scaled-down opening and closing ceremonies. All well and good, we will just have to wait and see. But for China, there is a problem caused by this rescheduling, and it has to do with events that China will host post-Tokyo 20230.

China has a “full plate” of hosting major international sporting events in the 2021-2022 timeframe. All of these events, to one extent or another, will be affected by the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer games, and the threat of COVID-19 contamination.

The events in question are:

China 14th National Games, (Xian Xiaanxi). China’s internal Olympics are directly affected by the dates of the Tokyo games. While the schedule cannot be confirmed, the dates of August 28-September 9, 2021 have been mentioned. This timeframe would put a strain on China’s athletes who would have to compete in two major international sporting events only 10 days apart.

World Summer University Games in (Chendu, Sichuan). As many as 10,000 student athletes would compete in the games which will be held August 18-29 2021. Again, this event like the China National Games is, just 10 days after the closing of the Tokyo Olympics. Organizers are moving forward with preparations despite the uncertainty surrounding both Tokyo and the threat of continued COVID-19.

Beijing winter Olympics (Beijing and Vicinity). The winter games are a bit farther down the timeline, scheduled to be held from February 4-20, 2022. China has a lot to do to get ready to host the winter games. Also, by this time, a model for the Olympics in the time of COVID-19 should have been established at the Tokyo games. So China and the International Olympic Committee will have a “template” to work from for the winter games.

19th Asian Games 2022 (Hangzhou, Zhejiang). To be held from September 10-25, 2022. Athletes from around Asia will be competing in 37 sports in venues in one of China’s most beautiful cities. The slogan for the 19th Asian Games is “Heart to Heart,@Future” which is a tip of a hat to the digital age being able to connect people.

For the next two years China will be planning and coordinating four major sporting events with thousands of athletes and their teams and many tens of thousands of visitors from around the world. What China learns not only from managing such events, but also in holding mega-events in the post-pandemic world will be lessons well worth learning and well worth sharing.






Photo: Du Kong, via flickr

Tokyo 2020: IOC Lights Torch, Mori Says It’s a “Go!”

                        by David Parmer / Tokyo

The torch-lighting ceremony for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was held in Olympia, Greece on March 12. IOC President Thomas Bach attended the colorful ceremony where men and women in ancient Greek costume danced, soldiers in traditional uniform stood to attention and the fire was passed to the Olympic torch.

The day before, March 11, Mr. Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee held a press conference in Tokyo and said that the games would open as scheduled and would not be postponed or cancelled. Mori said that the committee’s stance was to proceed with preparations for a safe Olympics.

Mori’s sentiments were echoed by Minister Seiko Hashimoto who told the Diet it was inconceivable to cancel the Olympics. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Tokyo Mayor Yuriko Koike were all on board with the same message.

Organizers are monitoring the Corona Virus epidemic which has recently been upgraded to “pandemic.”  and will hold a more meetings this spring to assess the situation.

What do you think about this? Should the Olympics be postponed or cancelled, or should they go forward as scheduled? Give us your thoughts on this or any other current topics.

Photo: Tsutomu Takasu via flickr