As reported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) itself, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games will not be canceled. Though senior IOC member Dick Pound warned of the alternative, coronavirus fears are not enough to shut down the event just yet.
The IOC acknowledges that the coronavirus pandemic is “an unprecedented situation for the whole world,” and that it is affecting preparation for the games. However, “with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive. … The IOC encourages all athletes to continue to prepare for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 as best they can.”
Restating trust for authorities handling the outbreak, the IOC also quotes Shinzo Abe, Japan’s prime minister: “I want to hold the Olympics and Paralympics perfectly, as proof that the human race will conquer the new coronavirus, and I gained support for that from the G-7 leaders.”
To bolster efforts to prevent spread of the virus, the IOC reports that forthcoming test events and event elements, like the lighting of the torch in Greece, will go forward with adapted techniques and alternative plans, like keeping the torch-lighting spectator-free. Finally, athletes training for the event within self-quarantine may receive aid from the IOC, which is adapting qualification protocols in line with safety limitations.