11th June, 2020
By Taiwo Okanlawon
Tokyo 2020 Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Toshiro Muto, on Wednesday says the rearranged Olympics will “not be done with grand splendour”, but will be simplified.
The Games, originally scheduled to start in July, were postponed for a year in March by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since then, organisers have been looking at ways to reduce costs and streamline the Games.
Following a virtual presentation to the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne, Tokyo 2020 organisers stressed the need to simplify the Games without giving details about how it would be done.
“The Games will not be a grand splendour but will be a simplified Games,” said Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto.
“In order to simplify the Games, we need to review and understand international federations, National Olympic Committees (NOCs), broadcasters and partners. These stakeholders must act in unison to make sure of a simplified Games.”
Muto said more than 200 ideas to simplify and reduce costs for the rescheduled Games had been discussed, but he gave no timeframe as to when these changes might be implemented.
“We have not got to the level or stage where we have concrete ideas regarding what we can do to simplify the Games,” he said.
In May, the IOC said they would be putting up to 650 million dollars towards the re-organisation of the Games.
Muto said Tokyo 2020 were still analysing what costs the Japanese side would have to bear.
In spite of the unprecedented challenges, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori said that cancelling the Games had not been discussed with the IOC.
“The world has changed socially, economically and medically. So, we have explained (to the IOC) how we have re-planned and re-positioned our organisation,” said Mori, a former Japanese prime minister.
“We never discussed cancellation. It is not right to discuss based upon speculation regarding hypothetical scenarios. Therefore, our direction, our policy is to not consider, at all, the cancellation.”
The IOC Executive Board were meeting in Lausanne on Wednesday with President Thomas Bach expected to speak to the media later.