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Tokyo 2020 was never in danger of being cancelled or delayed for a second time, says the Olympics’ executive director

Summary List PlacementTokyo 2020 was never in danger of being cancelled or delayed for a second time despite widespread fears it could be, Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi told Insider.  The games were originally set to take place in the summer of 2020, however they were pushed back a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Jsut three days before the start of rescheduled event, the head of the organizing committee Toshiro Muto suggested a last minute cancellation could not be ruled out due rising COVID-19 levels in Japan. A petition to cancel the games was also signed by just shy of...

A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games

Summary List Placement

Tokyo 2020 was never in danger of being cancelled or delayed for a second time despite widespread fears it could be, Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi told Insider. 

The games were originally set to take place in the summer of 2020, however they were pushed back a year due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

Jsut three days before the start of rescheduled event, the head of the organizing committee Toshiro Muto suggested a last minute cancellation could not be ruled out due rising COVID-19 levels in Japan.

A petition to cancel the games was also signed by just shy of 500,000 people.

Dubi says canceling or moving the Games again was never on the cards, however.

“You had the media here that was pretty ruthless. And not only here, but media around the globe was portraying the situation as dire,” he told Insider. 

“But at no point in time did you see either the Governor of Tokyo, the Prime Minister, or the Organizing Committee, raising any doubt.

“They always said we are creating the conditions for the games to be delivered safely. And that gave us a lot of reassurance. At no point in time were we were having crisis meetings the way we had back in February and March of 2020.”

As part of ensuring the games’ were safe, Dubi, alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Japanese government, helped coordinate and build a “mass COVID-19 testing” model, as well as sophisticated contact tracing system.

Since the start of the event, there has been over 400,000 tests conducted and only 327 cases reported among the tens of thousands of participants and staff.

“We said we would deliver a safe games, meaning producing a minimal number of cases,” said Dubi. “And now, we’ve been in operation for for a month and we have identified 70 cases out of close to 40,000 people from overseas.”

He added: “You have the United Nations Secretary General sending out congratulations, you have Tedros [Adhanom Ghebreyesus], the director of WHO, saying, ‘You’ve done everything that could be humanly to be done.’

“And on top, you have all the athletes speaking out and saying, ‘Thank you’ and ‘what a great experience.’ 

“This is really good.”

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