Tokyo 2020 or Florida 2020?

Florida Volunteers as the host city for the 2020 Olympics, if Tokyo backs out.

Tokyo 2020 or Florida 2021?: Will COVID affect the Host City?
By: Enrique Liganor

In 2020, sports fans all over the world anticipated one of the year’s long-awaited spectacles: the Games of the 32nd Olympiad, the Tokyo 2020 Games. Everything was ready for the Opening Ceremony. The Olympic flame was lit in Athens, Greece, and made its way to the host city of Tokyo, Japan. The National Stadium where the Tokyo 1964 Olympics was once held was demolished, rebuilt and renamed the Japan National Stadium.

Fast forward to 2021, and the coronavirus has not been lenient to anyone as of late, not even in the world of sports. Business as usual, at this point. The Olympiad has been postponed for nearly a year now, and the world of the Olympics is sitting on the edge of its seat. Rumors have been going around that Japan is thinking of backing out of hosting the Games due to the pandemic. However, the International Olympic Committee, along with Japan, have pushed back on such reports, calling the news “categorically untrue”. The IOC has strongly condemned these false reports, announcing that the international sporting event will take place in the summer of 2021 without any further delays.

However, in the wake of this news, a city hailing from our country decided to step up to the plate: The state of Florida has volunteered to become a backup host city in the event Japan backs out. On Jan. 22, Florida’s chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to the IOC, presenting the state as being open and available for the Olympic events to be held within its borders.

Patronis described how Florida has hosted numerous sporting events during the pandemic, which includes NFL, MLB and NHL, boasting its capabilities to safely carry out the recent Super Bowl. He also described Disney World as having been operating in compliance with coronavirus-related restrictions and regulations, setting a model of how to run mass events during the pandemic. Nevertheless, the IOC remains set to hold both the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the host city of Tokyo.

In the event of Florida going on to be chosen, it would be the 4th state in the US to have hosted the Olympic Games, and the games would be the first to be held in the state, and the 10th to be held in the country.