Olympics: No 'extravagant celebration' to mark a year until rearranged Games

TOKYO (REUTERS) – There will be no large-scale celebratory events next week to mark one year to go until the rearranged Tokyo Olympics, organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said on Friday (July 17).

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese government decided in March to postpone the Games until 2021 and organisers have been working to rearrange an event almost a decade in the making.

The Olympics were due to begin with a glamorous opening ceremony in the newly-built National Stadium next Friday, but will now not start until July 23, 2021.

Thursday marks one year to go until the new opening date but there will not be a repeat of the events last year involving Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach, when the medal designs were unveiled.

“One year to go is coming very close at hand. However, I do not think that people have the sense of anticipation or in a very happy way in terms of having a one year to go event,” Mori said after giving a remote presentation to the IOC session in Lausanne.

“We will not have an extravagant celebration. We should refrain from this sort of program. That was the idea from when we postponed it (the Games).”

There is expected to be a small ceremony to mark the occasion but it will be understandably subdued amid a global pandemic and worries over whether the Games can go ahead next year.

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