The postponed Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead next year “with or without Covid”, the vice-president of the International Olympic Committee says.
John Coates confirmed to news agency AFP that the Olympics would start on 23 July next year, calling them the “Games that conquered Covid”.
They were originally scheduled to start in July 2020, but were postponed due to Covid-19 fears.
The IOC had earlier said they would not delay the Games beyond 2021.
“The Games were going to be their theme, the Reconstruction Games after the devastation of the tsunami,” Mr Coates told AFP, referring to 2011 catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
“Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel.”
In July, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto said it was possible that the Games be held to a “limited” audience, but said they wanted to avoid the possibility of having no spectators at all.
Instead, he added that the Games could potentially “simplify” its opening and closing ceremonies, as well as reduce the number of staff and delegations from each country.