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What if the Tokyo Olympics gets cancelled?

Three Summer Olympics – 1916 Berlin Games, 1940 Tokyo Games and 1944 London Games were cancelled previously. What if the games get cancelled this year?

What if the Tokyo Olympics gets cancelled?

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 20 July 2021 5:57 AM GMT

The Tokyo Olympics which was supposed to be held in the year 2020 was postponed by almost a year due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic. Now that the Olympics is only three and a half months away, the virus seems to be on a rise yet again.

Owing to this, North Korea became the first nation to withdraw its contingent from the Tokyo Olympics. The decision taken by the country's Olympic Committee on 25th March was announced by a website named Sports in DPR Korea run by the country's sports ministry.

Even though the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government has maintained that the Olympics will take place as planned from 23rd July to 8th August 2021 and fact that the torch relay has reached its 12th day, the question, 'What if the Tokyo Olympics gets cancelled?', can still not be ignored.

If the Tokyo Games gets cancelled it would not be the first time that an edition of the Olympics is cancelled altogether. Three Summer Olympics – 1916 Berlin Games, 1940 Tokyo Games and 1944 London Games were cancelled previously. While the 1916 Berlin Games was cancelled due to the World War I, the other two were cancelled due to World War II.

What would happen if the Tokyo Olympics gets cancelled?

If the Tokyo Olympics is put off completely, the Japanese economy will be the most badly affected. Since winning the rights to host the 2020 Games in the year 2013, the Japanese government has spent billions of dollars in making the city Olympics ready. In case the IOC is forced to cancel the Olympics totally, it could have a severe impact on the economy of Japan.

The postponement of the Olympics from 2020 has already cost the nearly $6billion in economic loss, and now if the Games are cancelled completely the losses would be tough to bear.

According to Statista, as of January 2021, if the Olympics is called off the Japanese government would face losses up to 4,515.1 billion Japanese Yen.

Besides, both the IOC and Japanese government have been branding the Tokyo Olympics as humanity's win over the deadly pandemic. If the prestigious event is cancelled after such statements it would surely send a not so great message to future generations.

Thus, if the Tokyo Olympics gets cancelled in near future, the implications would not only be financial but also psychological and moral.

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