Japan has moved to end speculation about its hosting of the postponed 2020 Olympic Games by announcing the global sporting event will definitely go ahead but as a virtual event.
The Organising Committee for the Tokyo Olympics said the announcement would give competitor nations and athletes greater certainty.
“After deferring the Games from last year because of the coronavirus pandemic we are now planning to definitely go ahead with the first virtual Olympics with all events held via Zoom hook-ups,” a spokesperson said.
“We are grateful for the participation of the Zoom virtual meeting company in the Games and the sponsorship funding it has brought with it.
“We want to make it very clear that Zoom will be treated no differently to any other sponsor and there will definitely not be any quid pro quo via product placement or any other kickbacks for their support of the Games which have admittedly been under great financial strain because of the postponement.
“However, because of the unique nature of the 2020 Games we have decided in cooperation with the International Olympic Committee to use a special one-off version of the Olympic logo for the duration of the Tokyo Games. (main picture)
“We are very much looking forward to the virtual Games in which athletes will be able to compete against each while staying in their home countries.
“We’re sure the world audience will delight in watching competitors in, say, running events as they zoom around the track.
“Similarly, even though it will be a virtual Games, viewers will still be able to watch their nation’s swimmers zoom through the water or see their favourite athletes send javelins or a discus zooming through the air.
“The Tokyo Organising Committee believes that having already taken the decision to ban spectators from attending the Games, a virtual event is a logical next step.
“We do, however, feel sorry for the Tokyo hotel industry and those providing the athletes’ village accommodation who have invested so much in facilities that now won’t be used.
“Still, we’re sure that we can work out some way to use all those zooms… I mean, all those rooms they have provided,” the spokesperson said.