Tokyo Olympics ‘unlikely’ to take place, says London 2012 boss 

The organisers of Tokyo 2020 should be ‘making plans for cancellation,’ according to the London 2012 chief exec

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Tokyo Olympics are “unlikely” to go ahead this summer, according to the former boss of London 2012. 

Sir Keith Mills, an entrepreneur who served as the chief executive for the Olympics in Britain eight years ago, says the organisers of the postponed games in Japan should now be “making plans for cancelation.” 

Tokyo has seen a surge in coronavirus cases during a third wave of the virus, with hospitals on Japan on the brink of collapse, according to health experts.  

The country hit more than 4,900 Covid-19 infections in one day on Monday, with the number of serious cases also increasing, The Guardian (opens in new tab) reports, while the capital Tokyo is in a state of emergency. 

Speaking to Radio 5 Live (opens in new tab), Mills said: "I think they'll leave it to absolutely the last minute in case the situation improves dramatically, in case the vaccinations roll out faster than we all hoped. It's a tough call.

"Personally, sitting here looking at the pandemic around the world, it looks unlikely I have to say.

"If I was sitting in the shoes of the organising committee in Tokyo, I would be making plans for a cancellation and I'm sure they have plans for a cancellation. They've got another month or so before they need to make a call."

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics were initially scheduled for last summer but were postponed until 2021 due to the global pandemic. 

Now scheduled to run from July 23 to August 8, followed by the Paralympics from August 25 to September 5, the Prime Minister of Japan has vowed to push ahead with the plans to hold the Games, but public opposition has been growing.

Some reports suggested that athletes may need to quarantine before competing in the Olympics, which would make it impossible for cyclists racing the Tour de France to compete in the Tokyo road race, with just 10 days between the two events.

>>> Dan Martin: There’s no room for me to talk about personal ambition – it’s never a bad thing to be surrounded by strong riders 

However, the Tokyo 2020 organisers have since denied that a quarantine would be put in place.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.