Tokyo 2020 decides against holding one-year-to-go countdown event

Tokyo 2020 decides against holding one-year-to-go countdown event

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Tokyo 2020 will not be holding any one-year-to-go events ©Getty Images

Tokyo 2020 has confirmed it will not stage any one-year-to-go celebration events for the postponed Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

An Organising Committee spokesperson told insidethegames Tokyo 2020 "will not be holding any events to mark the new one year to go milestone for the Games, but we will consider what we can do to show our solidarity with the people".

Citing an unnamed source, Japanese pubic broadcaster NHK had reported that organisers had decided against holding a large-scale event to mark a year to go until the Games, pushed back to 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.

The milestone falls on July 23, exactly one year until the first Olympic Games to be postponed is due to open in the Japanese capital.

Tokyo 2020 held a one-year-to-go celebration on July 24 2019, which included the unveiling of the Olympic medal designs and an event attended by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach.

Tokyo 2020 held one-year-to-go celebration events in July 2019 - but there will not be any to mark the milestone for the postponed Games 

Such celebrations are traditionally staged by each Summer and Winter Olympic Games Organising Committee.

The decision from Tokyo 2020 is understandable given ongoing widespread concern over the COVID-19 virus, which has killed at least 393,000 people and infected more than 6.7 million worldwide.

Mass gatherings have been banned across the world in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, while international travel has ground to a near-complete halt.

Japan has reported over 17,000 cases and 903 deaths from the virus, with Tokyo the worst-affected area in the country.

Abe last week lifted the state of emergency in Japan and restrictions imposed in Tokyo in response to the coronavirus crisis have started to ease.

But the Tokyo Metropolitan Government issued an alert to the public this week following a rise in the number of infections in the capital.

By Liam Morgan-InsideTheGames