Organizers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed to 2021 due to the flu pandemic, announced on Friday an outline of a simplified event plan to avoid a surge in costs due to the postponement.
The event will be more ambitious than the previous one, and delegations from various countries have been reduced by 10% to 15%. Organizers said that the number of athletes will not be affected.
The simplified (usually luxurious) procedures for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games are still under study.
Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the Japanese organizing committee, said at a press conference: “The initial recommendations for these ceremonies have undergone fundamental changes.”
He added: “It may be simpler and more modest”, and hopes that these ceremonies can bring the same “joy.”
The revised Olympic costs have not yet been disclosed by the organizers. Before the postponement, they estimated that the total Japanese expenditure in December 2019 was 1.350 trillion yen (11 billion euros).
In particular, this increase should be strengthened by renegotiating Olympic venues and transportation reservations, or even extending the contract of the organizers for another year.
Despite the coronavirus and high costs, the Tokyo Olympics on Friday “must be held”, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President John Coates insisted in a televised speech.
He emphasized: “We don’t want to, we can’t ignore the entire generation of Olympic athletes.”
Coates said: “We will leave an important legacy through these simplification measures and this efficiency, which we call the “Tokyo Model”, that is, the Olympic Games adapted to the “post-coronavirus” world.
However, Japan has significantly reduced the Olympic enthusiasm due to the coronavirus: in a survey conducted this summer, less than one-third of the respondents hoped that the Olympics would be held in 2021.
Organizers and Japanese authorities are conducting complex negotiations on how to safely organize the Olympics, even when the pandemic is not under control next summer.