Tokyo Olympic venues lined up, schedule remains the same

The 42 venues for next year’s delayed Tokyo Olympics have been secured and the competition schedule will remain almost identical to the one that would have been used this year. The Athletes Village and the main press center have also been lined up for 2021.

That was the message delivered Friday to IOC members by Tokyo organising committee President Yoshiro Mori and CEO Toshiro Muto.

They spoke from Japan to a full session of the IOC membership meeting online.

Estimates in Japan say the delay will cost USD 2 billion to USD 6 billion, with Japanese taxpayers picking up the bills. Olympic officials have not given any overall cost estimate.

The opening ceremony for the Olympics will be on July 23, 2021. However, women’s softball and soccer will open on July 21, men’s soccer on July 22, and archery and rowing on July 23.

On July 24, the first full day after the opening, the first medal event will be the women’s 10-meter air rifle.

Unlike the large, public celebration of a year ago, local organisers at the last minute have put together a small, non-public event for Thursday inside the new national stadium to mark one year to go. Organizers have teased a possible appearance of the Olympic flame.

IOC President Thomas Bach said earlier this week that “multiple scenarios” are being thought about to pull off the Olympics next year. He said empty stadiums were an option, but not a preference, in the long list of possibilities.

“It includes all different countermeasures: quarantine, you name it,” he said.

“But, Olympic Games behind closed doors is clearly something we do not want. “We are working for a solution of the Olympic Games which, on the one hand is safeguarding the health of all the participants, and on the other hand is also reflecting the Olympic spirit.”

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