Speculation over Tokyo Olympics: 2021, 2032 or not at all?

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Japan National Stadium, where opening ceremony and many other events are planned for postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is seen from a rooftop observation deck Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021, in Tokyo. The postponed Tokyo Olympics are to open in just six months. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee say they will go ahead on July 23. But its still unclear how this will happen with virus cases surging in Tokyo and elsewhere around the globe. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)

GENEVA – Just about everybody, especially the organizers in Japan and Switzerland, want the Tokyo Olympics to open on July 23 — as scheduled.

And yet, 2021 is starting on a similar path that led to the decision last March to postpone the games for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Japanese authorities and the International Olympic Committee moved quickly Friday to dismiss a report by The Times of London that quoted an anonymous government official claiming it has been concluded the games will be canceled.

“Categorically untrue,” Japan’s government said in a statement endorsed by the IOC.

The same unidentified government official said Tokyo could instead host in 2032, after Paris and Los Angeles take their turns in 2024 and 2028, respectively.

It follows surveys suggesting Japanese people feel less and less enthusiastic about an Olympics already costing the host nation about $25 billion of mostly public money.

When will the Tokyo Olympics be held, if at all?