Tokyo Olympics 2020: Florida offers to host Games if Japan backs out, says state official

Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, 'to encourage you to consider relocating the 2021 Olympics from Tokyo, Japan to the United States of America, and more specifically to Florida.'

Agence France-Presse January 26, 2021 09:16:32 IST
Tokyo Olympics 2020: Florida offers to host Games if Japan backs out, says state official

The Olympic rings are seen in front of the Rainbow Bridge in Tokyo. AP Photo

Florida's chief financial officer on Monday told the International Olympic Committee that the state would be happy to host the Olympics Games amid speculation that current hosts Japan may back out.

Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, "to encourage you to consider relocating the 2021 Olympics from Tokyo, Japan to the United States of America, and more specifically to Florida."

"With media reports of leaders in Japan 'privately' concluding that they are too concerned about the pandemic for the 2021 Olympics to take place, there is still time to deploy a site selection team to Florida," he said.

The letter, signed by Patronis and posted online, cited the supposed strength of state's vaccination roll-out, its economic re-opening and sports events it has hosted during the pandemic, as well as the fact that its theme parks, including Disney World, are open for business.

But Florida has struggled badly in the coronavirus pandemic, with over 25,000 deaths so far in the state as the US death toll nears 420,000.

"Whatever precautions are required let's figure it out and get it done," Patronis said.

Last Friday, parties responsible for organising the Tokyo games - scheduled for last year but delayed for a year because of the global health crisis - insisted they would be sticking to the planned dates of 23 July until 8 August.

"I am determined to realise a safe and secure Tokyo Games as proof that mankind will have overcome the virus," said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

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