Japan, Olympic Committee Deny Report Claiming the Tokyo Games Could Be Canceled

Olympic Rings

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected rumors that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be canceled, calling a recent report "categorically untrue." 

In a response to a report from The Times of London on Thursday, the IOC said it was "fully concentrated on and committed to the successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this year," and went on to quote a statement from the Japanese government saying that they would be "implementing all possible countermeasures against COVID-19 […] in our preparations for holding a safe and secure Games this summer."

The disputed report quoted an unidentified "senior member of the ruling coalition" saying, "No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it's too difficult. Personally, I don't think it's going to happen."

Japan's deputy chief cabinet secretary, Managu Sakai, also refuted the article, saying, "There is no such fact and we clearly deny (the report)," according to The Associated Press. 

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) also released a statement Friday, saying, "There is no doubt the Tokyo 2020 Games will be very different to any previous Games and that this summer's event looks a long way off right now. However, we believe that with the robust measures and plans we have in place, the Games can and will go ahead safely."

The Olympic games are still scheduled to begin on July 23, although the ceremonies may look drastically different this year. Athletes could be kept in "bubbles" and may compete in arenas without an audience. 

Olympic athletes are also weighing in on the multiple ways the games could occur. Famed gymnast Simone Biles spoke about the upcoming games on Friday during an appearance on The Today Show.

"We're kind of ready for whatever life throws at us at this point," Biles told TODAY. "So we're training 'as if' and whatever happens, happens. We have to do what's safe for the rest of the world and for ourselves, make sure everyone's healthy." 

"Hopefully the Olympics can still be put on, even if it means we're in a bubble," she added. "I'll basically do anything at this moment. Whatever they say they want us to do, I'm in 100% because I've been training so hard and I've just been so ready." 

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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