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IOC, Japanese Government Deny Rumors About Upcoming Summer Olympics

A picture of the Olympic Rings in South Korea.

(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

On Thursday, The Timesin London reported that the Japanese government has all but decided that the Summer Olympics, postponed from 2020 to 2021, will have to be canceled. According to the report, the country is now focused on landing the Olympic Games for 2032, the next available spot, in order to make up for an event that it does not believe can happen safely this year.

“No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it’s too difficult,” a "a senior member of the ruling coalition" told The Times. “Personally, I don’t think it’s going to happen.”

It wouldn't be a major shock to anyone if that wound up being the case. Of course, as of now the Olympics are still on. The International Olympic Committee and Japanese government both insist that no decision on cancelling the games has been made.

"Some news reports circulating today are claiming that the Government of Japan has privately concluded that the Tokyo Olympics will have to be canceled because of the coronavirus," Japan said in a statement, echoed by the IOC. "That is categorically untrue."

The Olympics were set to be played in Summer 2020, but it became apparent pretty quickly that it would not be possible during the early days of COVID-19. The current start date of July 23 also seems quite ambitious, given the slow start to vaccination efforts in many countries, including the United States.

"We will be implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 and will continue to work closely with the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer," the statement from Japan continued.

Obviously we hope to have a Summer Olympics this year, but it feels very up in the air as to whether it is actually feasible in just a few months time.