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July 21, 2021

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Last-minute cancellation not ruled out

The head of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics yesterday did not rule out a last-minute cancelation of the global sporting showpiece, amid rising coronavirus cases that have presented organizers with mounting challenges.

Asked at a news conference if the Games, which are due to open on Friday, might still be canceled, Toshiro Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and hold discussions with organizers if necessary.

“We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” said Muto.

“We have agreed that based on the situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”

COVID-19 cases are rising and the Games, postponed last year because of the pandemic, will be held without spectators.

IOC amends motto

Japan this month decided that participants would compete in empty venues to minimize the risk of further infections.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has amended its ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ motto to include the word ‘Together,’ its President Thomas Bach said yesterday, highlighting the need for solidarity during difficult times.

“We have to adapt the motto to our times,” he told a session meeting following the approval of an Olympic Charter amendment.

The motto now reads: ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger — Together.’

“The collaborative effort is bringing faster and better results than working in silos and protecting each silo from the progress of the other silo,” added Bach. “This is a milestone in our development and sends a clear signal. We want to put special focus on solidarity.”


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