We cannot put a price on protecting the lives and well-being of Olympic athletes, staff and the host country’s people amidst the pandemic. Nonetheless, the economic loss for canceling the Tokyo Games could be as high as $20 billion. The organizations involved currently have almost $3 billion in insurance policies if the games are canceled.
This would be the largest insurance claim for a global event cancellation, but it doesn’t come close to the price that comes with Tokyo 2021. Nor would it do much to save face for Japan, which is in the unenviable position of hosting an Olympics amid what likely will be a lingering pandemic many people thought and hoped would be over by July of 2021.
Six months left before the Games are to begin, the International Olympic Committee Executive Board met to discuss the Games’ fate and other issues. There is no use predicting the future regarding COVID-19, but Japan is currently in a state of emergency due to the spiking number of infections. Nevertheless, Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach remains relatively upbeat when he spoke to the media after the IOC meeting:
“We are fully concentrated on and committed to the successful and safe delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, starting on 23 July with the Olympic Games and 24 August with the Paralympic Games.”
However, it’s worth noting that this statement is similar to those spoke a year ago, just before postponing the Games.
No postponement this time
As mentioned previously, there is likely no chance of delaying the games again, with Paris looming in 2024 and the Beijing winter games in February of 2022. China reportedly is on target to host its Games after Bach spoke recently with President Xi of China, who recently visited the venues in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou.