Olympic official waves off Trump suggestion Tokyo Games get postponed for a year

A Japanese Olympic official dismissed President Trump’s idea to postpone the Tokyo Games for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak that has swept across the globe and effectively shut down sports.

Seiko Hashimoto, Japan’s Olympic minister, maintained that the Olympics will still go on as planned.

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“The IOC and the organizing committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement — absolutely not at all,” she said at a news conference Friday.

Olympic officials have not wavered from their plans to hold the Games in July, even as events like the Olympic torch ceremony have been limited to the number of spectators.

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“I just can't see having no people there. In other words, not allowing people,” Trump said Thursday. “Maybe, and this is just my idea, maybe they postpone it for a year.”

Hashimoto vowed that official will put “our maximum effort” to have the Games, which are set to start July 24. The cancellation of the Olympics would send athletes, fans, hotels, airlines and sponsors into a tailspin. The Olympics could lose an estimated $1 billion in ticket sales should the event get canceled.

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The Olympic flame is set to arrive in Japan on Mach 20 and will begin a four-month relay around the nation on March 26. Olympic organizers downsized the ceremony and plan to limit crowds and change the routes if necessary.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.