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Tokyo Olympics: Signs suggest summer dates in 2021 for games

Japan 2020

FILE – In this March 20, 2020, file photo, Tokyo 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori carries the Olympic flame during the Flame Arrival Ceremony at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. Tokyo Olympic organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point toward the summer of 2021. Organizing committee President Mori suggested there would be no major change from 2020. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo Olympic organizers seem to be leaning away from starting the rescheduled games in the spring of 2021. More and more the signs point toward the summer of 2021.

Organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori suggested there would be no major change from 2020.

“The games are meant to be in summer, so we should be thinking of a time between June and September,” Japanese news agency Kyodo reported Mori saying on Saturday.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, after the postponement was announced in Switzerland on Tuesday, left open the possibility of spring dates.

The postponed games were to have opened on July 24 and closed on Aug. 9. Mori suggested some decisions could be made as early as this week when the organizing committee’s executive board meets.

Any final decision will be made by local organizers and the IOC, and hundreds of sponsors, sports federations and broadcasters.

Athletes have been left in limbo by the postponement. Many have been forced to stop training because of the spreading coronavirus. Even those who can train have no idea about how to schedule training to reach peak fitness at the right time.

Mori and organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto have both said the added cost of rescheduling will be “enormous.” Early estimates put those costs at between $2 billion-$3 billion with the several levels of Japanese governments likely to foot most of the bills.

Tokyo organizers say they are spending $12.6 billion to stage the games. However, a government audit report said it will cost at least twice that much. All but $5.6 billion is public money.

The Switzerland-based IOC has contributed $1.3 billion to organize the Tokyo Olympics, according to local organizing committee documents. It has a reserve fund of about $2 billion for such emergencies and also has insurance coverage.

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