Paris 2024: Olympics will go ahead “whatever happens in Tokyo” Tony Estanguet reassures

Published by Alexandre G. · Published on 27 January 2021 at 16h40 · Updated on 29 January 2021 at 16h07
As the organization of the upcoming Tokyo Olympics – initially scheduled in the summer 2020 and then postponed to July 23, 2021 because of the Covid-19 pandemic – is more and more compromised given the uncertain health context, Paris 2024 head of the French organizing committee said the fate of Paris Games was not linked to Tokyo Olympics’ destiny.

“[Paris] Games will go well in 2024, whatever happens in Tokyo”. So has said head of Paris 2024 organizing Committee Tony Estanguet. In an interview for Le Monde released this Wednesday January 27, 2021 Paris 2024 head has reminded the calendar of the upcoming Paris Games was not impacted by issues impacting the organization of Tokyo Games because of the Covid-19 health crisis.

Of course, if Tony Estanguet is trying to reassure about the French Games in three years, it is because the current health context keeps the Olympics movement in a pool of uncertainties. Initially planned for the summer 2021, Tokyo 2020 Games have been postponed for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic during the first epidemic wave.

But barely a few months prior to the grand opening, Japan is faced with the third wave of the virus, questioning the organization of the Games from July 23, 2021. Even though Tokyo Organizing Committee says no scenario is ready backstage to cancel the Games at the last minute, The Times and other sources close to the file deny the story. Furthermore, most Japanese are now against hosting the Olympics in such conditions.

For all these reasons, Tony Estanguet’s address was intended to be reassuring. As for the good proceeding of the Olympic Games in France in 3 years, the president of the OCOG is categorical: “Paris 2024 is not linked to Tokyo’s destiny”. A statement that should be taken with a pinch of salt because the context can change at any moment: even the IOC (International Olympic Committee) is not certain. “If I stick to the discussions with the IOC, I don’t have the impression that there will be another postponement”. A mere impression then…

At the same time, the former Olympian said that the construction of the Olympic village has not – so far – got behind schedule because of the health crisis. In 2021, the OCOG mostly plans to “define the concept of the opening and closing ceremonies”. Many festivities are scheduled in the heart of Paris.

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