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The International Olympic Committee Says Tokyo Olympics Are Happening ‘With or Without COVID’

Olympic rings displayed on a wall inside Tokyo’s Japan Olympic Museum this July. Photo: Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

We all hope the ongoing global-pandemic response, specifically an effective vaccine, will allow us to consume hours upon hours of swimming, diving, and track next year, but as far as the International Olympics Committee is concerned, the postponed 2020 Tokyo games will be happening next summer, no matter where we are, coronavirus-wise. “It will take place with or without COVID,” IOC vice-president John Coates told Agence France-Press on Monday, according to Deadline. “The games will start July 23 next year.”

According to Coates, the theme of the Tokyo games was already going to be reconstruction, an homage to the nation’s rebuilding following the devastating 2011 tsunami. “Now, very much these will be the Games that conquered COVID, the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. The summer Olympics will officially run from July 23, 2021, to August 8, 2021, apparently alongside the coronavirus pandemic or not. So … hopefully not.

IOC Says Tokyo Olympics Happening ‘With or Without COVID’