A year before the Tokyo Games

Un an avant les Jeux de Tokyo

Un an avant les Jeux de Tokyo

All lit up, the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, which must take place in the water sports of the olympic Games in 2021, reiterates that the holding of those has been pushed back a year because of the COVID-19, and that the celebrations are likely to be much less pleasing than what are accustomed to spectators, if they have place.


July 24, 2020 21h11


A year before the Tokyo Games

Stephen Wade

Associated Press

TOKYO — The Tokyo olympic Games will be held in exactly one year — yet. But very few people are packaged.

Tokyo had underlined the event a year ago. It was before the pandemic of COVID-19 does not cause the postponement of the games and pushes the opening ceremony on 23 July 2021. The fireworks erupted over the bay of Tokyo, and local stars had unveiled the medals during a spectacular show.

There was none of that this time.

The organizing committee has presented a show behind closed doors for 15 minutes on Thursday inside the new national stadium; they have released a video to promote the opening ceremony of the next year. They have also pointed to the presence of the olympic flame, which arrived in Japan in march, but which has been hidden to the public since that time.

The event, rather modest, was held on the occasion of a rainy day – recalling a little the gloom.

A survey conducted a few days ago by the japanese news agency Kyodo has validated the results of the recent polls : the Japanese are not certain that the official journal should take place, and these are always uncertain elsewhere. The survey found that 23.9% of those surveyed were for holding the JO, and 36.4 % preferred to see a reporter again, and 33.7 % wanted outright the see cancel.

The organizing committee and the international olympic Committee (IOC) has ruled out the possibility of another postponement. The Tokyo Games will be cancelled if they cannot take place in 2021.

“I don’t believe that people are feverish at the idea of emphasizing the counting of a year [before the start of the olympics],” said Yoshiro Mori, the chairman of the organizing committee, last week.

The organizing committee and the IOC are working to review every aspect of the olympic games of Tokyo in order to reduce the costs associated with its one-year deferral. However, only one element is untouchable : 11 000 olympic athletes and 4400 paralympic athletes will participate in the competitions, which will take place in the same places and in the same time slots as originally intended.

This decision means that the rights holders of television broadcasting — the heart and soul of the IOC — will not be affected by this in-depth analysis. The IOC collects $ 5.7 billion over the course of the olympic cycle of four years, and 73 % of this amount comes from the television broadcast rights. Another 18 % is drawn from the main sponsors.

Rights tv lost

Billions of dollars in television broadcast rights will be lost if the olympics do not take place next year, leading to significant financial losses for the IOC. Therefore, it is imperative to present the olympics on television and on other platforms, and to ensure the safety of athletes when they are not on a competition site. The american network NBC, the main source of the IOC’s revenue, pays an average of $ 1.2 billion for each edition of the olympic Games.

The winter olympic Games, Beijing 2022 will take place only six months after those of Tokyo. A cancellation would have implications for Beijing, not to mention the issues relating to human rights in Hong Kong and about the treatment of Uighurs. Beijing has obtained the presentation of the winter olympics in 2015.

As in Tokyo, many questions remain unanswered.

The spectators will attend the competitions? If this is the case, this will be spectators from the four corners of the world, or only the Japanese? Athletes will be placed in quarantine upon their arrival? A vaccine against the COVID-19 will it be available? How the athletes could they be moving in the impressive athletes ‘ Village, while respecting the standards of social distancing? What will it take for the referees, the coaches, and the thousands of workers who work behind the scenes? Tokyo planned to use at least 80 000 volunteers for the duration of the games.

Anyway, some researchers are skeptical. Others are more optimistic.

Kentaro Iwata, an infectiologist japanese, said : “To be honest with you, I do not believe that the olympic Games will take place next year”.

For his part, Dr. Ali Khan, an epidemiologist and dean of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska, believes that OJ can become a reality. Japan has recorded about 1,000 deaths associated with the COVID-19. Tokyo has been spared by the pandemic, even if the municipal government said Thursday that 300 new cases had been registered for the first time. The previous record was 293, and it had been established last week.

Japan has also closed its borders to 129 countries.

“First of all, Japan must strengthen its measures to counter the spread and not to declare new cases, such as in New Zealand, has referred to Khan. Then, they [the Japanese] will have to develop new management protocols to contain the spread and allow the athletes, support staff, the media, service providers and spectators to circulate. It is expected that the participants and other visitors must adhere to a quarantine before arriving in Tokyo, and they are then subject to regular testing.”

Un an avant les Jeux de Tokyo

The president of the French olympic committee, Denis Masseglia, refuses to give in to pessimism.

AFP Martin Bernetti



PARIS — Private this was the springboard at the olympic games in Tokyo, faced with crises in health and economic, the organizers of the olympic and paralympic Games, Paris-2024 see the path is narrow, between budget constraints and the risk of unfulfilled promises.

“There will be better days, that’s for sure”, a summary of the 28 June last, the president of the French olympic committee, Denis Masseglia. In front of its general assembly, it has recognized that the “prospects are not looking good for Tony [Estanguet] and its teams,” the organising committee (OCOG), between “health crisis”, “report of the Tokyo Games” and “concern about the economic recovery coupled with a possible second pandemic wave”.

To four years from the opening ceremony, the triple olympic champion of canoe refuses to give in to pessimism. “This project, it brings with it the possibility to show a France enthusiast, who will welcome the world”, with “5 billion euros of markets” to the key, he said Tuesday, on the sidelines of the presentation of the “club Paris 2024”, which is designed to involve the general public in the Games.

More expensive

But the reality is there. On one hand, the OCOG, responsible for the organization of events — over 300 —, celebrations and temporary sites, will have to make savings, as the expected revenues of the sponsors promise to be more modest. The bar was set at 1.1 billion euros ($1.7 billion), on a total budget of 3.8 (5,9). “It was an ambition that was rather prudent. Today, it becomes a real ambition that he will have to go”, recognizes Estanguet, even if “between 30 and 40 % of the target [is] achieved”.

On the other side, to the Solideo, the public institution in charge of major construction projects that will start in 2021, as the olympic village of Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), where will be greeted to the 10,500 athletes, are expected to see the addition to climb, in particular due to increased costs in the CONSTRUCTION industry. Thus, the invoice total planning of the aquatic centre, which will be in front of the Stade de France, always in Saint-Denis, rose from 113 to 174,7 million euros (175 to 271.2 million $).

The history will repeat for Paris-2024, to be ordered as the previous editions to see its budget soar? Under the cover of anonymity, an actor of the project is summarized in the equation : “either we increase the envelope” of the Solideo, which amounted to 3 billion euros (4.65 billion $] 1.5 billion [2,32 billion $] of public funds of the State and communities, “either it will be necessary to cut in the projects”.


It seems far away the time when, at the end of December 2019, the teams of the OCOG announced, enthusiastic, two additional sites, one for the surf in Tahiti, on “the most beautiful wave of the world” Teahupo’o, the other on the prestigious place de la Concorde in Paris for the sports so-called urban climbing, basketball three against three, BMX freestyle, breakdance, skateboard).

Now, the whole map of Paris-2024 is in the process of being reviewed and “it will be a game of musical chairs,” as was already the case in 2018 after a first alert on the costs, ” says Estanguet, who plans to “pool” some sites.

Which? The looks seem to focus on the olympic area of le Bourget, where must stand the tests of shooting, volley-ball, and where should it draw the centre and the media village, which was converted as the olympic village housing area after the games.

Without moving, Tony Estanguet, points out the delays in the delivery of the lines 16 and 17 of the metro of Grand Paris, who do will probably not have the time sector. And to add, about the media village, that”there is no strong need for Paris 2024″ and that “this will be the public players to see : is what they want to adapt [its] dimension, is that we leave it as is?”

The negotiations promise to be tense with the elected representatives of the Seine-Saint-Denis, where the actors of the Games have always promised a strong legacy, from the time of the French bid.

“The heart of the olympics, it is the Seine-Saint-Denis, it is a condition of the engagement of the Seine-Saint-Denis in this project,” thundered the beginning of July the president of his departmental council, Stéphane Troussel. “There is no question of robbing our country of the inheritance of the Games,” he added. One first hot issue to the prefect, Michel Cadot, who took over on Wednesday the new prime minister, Jean Castex, such as inter-ministerial delegate to the olympics. Andréa Bambino, Agence France-Presse

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