The US President Joe Biden has said that any decision on holding the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which was postponed by a year due to COVID-19 pandemic, must be “based on science”. The Games are set to commence in under six months with the Japanese government and International Olympic Committee (IOC) emphasising on holding the quadrennial event as planned, albeit under strict protocols that could include events being held behind closed doors.
Biden, speaking on a Westwood One Sports radio programme broadcast on Sunday, said that he hopes the Tokyo Olympics take place just for the sake of the athletes who have given their blood and sweat for the Games.
“I’ve spoken with the prime minister of Japan, he’s working very hard to be in a position to safely open the Games, to have the Games, and I think that has to be based on science, whether or not it is safe for that to occur,” Biden said.
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Biden, who took the office in January, said it pains him to even think that athletes won’t be able to compete in the Tokyo Olympics after four years of hard work but added if the Games are to go ahead, it has to be based on science.
“Imagine all those Olympians who work for four years, four years for one shot and all of a sudden that opportunity gets lost,” he said.
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“They are the people that I feel such pain for – but we have to do it based on the science,” he further said while adding, “We are a science-driven administration, I think the rest of the world’s there too. I hope we can play, I hope it’s possible, but it remains to be seen.”
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are set to open on July 23 and run until Aug. 8.