Sports

Head of Olympic organizing committee hasn’t ruled out last-minute cancellation, reports say

Toshiro Muto
Posted at 9:49 AM, Jul 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-20 10:00:23-04

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, said Tuesday that a last-minute cancellation of the Olympics hasn’t been ruled out as athletes continue to test positive for the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.

The Olympics are set to officially begin following the opening ceremony on Friday. Though, a few preliminary events will happen before, like softball and soccer games scheduled to be played on Wednesday.

When Muto was asked if the Summer Games could still be canceled, Reuters and Yahoo Sports report that the CEO said he would keep an eye on infection rates and if necessary, he would consult with other organizers about the situation.

"We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases," Muto reportedly told the media. "So, we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases.”

Muto continued, explaining that the situation remains fluid.

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus 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," Muto said.

The comments from Muto come a day after it was revealed that an alternate for the American women’s gymnastics team, Kara Eaker, tested positive for the coronavirus.

The gymnast is just one of a growing list of people accredited for the Olympics who have tested positive. Organizers told The Associated Press on Monday that 71 infections have been confirmed, including 31 people who were expected to compete or work at the Games.

Tokyo is currently experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, so much so that officials have barred spectators from Olympic events to cut down on transmission and minimize health risks.