IOC open to staging Tokyo 2020 Olympics in spring season

AFP
Photo: AFP

With the novel coronavirus pandemic postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics until next year, organisers have an opportunity to solve their other massive problem: the summer heat. 

The historic decision to delay the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic gave Tokyo a wide range of options when rescheduling: the Games will be held "beyond 2020, but not later than summer 2021."

This leaves open the possibility of a spring Olympics when the weather in Tokyo is at its finest and removes at a stroke the worries about athletes and fans suffering in the brutal heat and humidity of Japan's summer.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike confirmed the postponement had opened up this tantalising option -- that would also give her the opportunity of reclaiming the marathon which before the postponement was shifted to the northern city of Sapporo over heat fears.

"Since we are in this situation, one idea is to have (the IOC) move the date to a time that is not hot," she said.

"I think Tokyo would be good" to host the marathon if temperatures were less fierce.

IOC chief Thomas Bach himself has said rescheduling "is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table, before and including the summer of 2021."

And it was clearly on the mind of Tokyo 2020 chief Yoshiro Mori, even in the immediate aftermath of the crushing postponement.

"We are trying to set a new schedule to be done by the summer. It might be earlier... As a result, if the hottest part of the summer could be avoided, wouldn't that be a happy thing," he said just minutes after the postponement.

IOC open to staging Tokyo 2020 Olympics in spring season