In a surprise move and just few days after Tokyo dismissed the news that she has turned her back on hosting, the Florida has written the International Olympics Committee (IOC) for their readiness to replace Tokyo city as host.
Florida’s chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis wrote the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday (25) to consider replacing the 2021 Games to the Sunshine State amid speculation that Tokyo organisers may back out as hosts due to concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak.
In the letter, Patronis points to Florida’s track record of allowing sports to take place during the pandemic, including UFC events in Jacksonville and the NBA’s playoff bubble in Orlando. He also writes that the state’s international tourist destinations, like Disney parks, have “been open and operating safely in Florida for some time.”
Tokyo organisers have vowed to press ahead with the re-scheduled Games, which are due to open on July 23 after being postponed for a year because of the novel coronavirus, but Florida’s Jimmy Patronis has offered an alternative option.
“There is still time to deploy a site selection team to Florida to meet with statewide and local officials on holding the Olympics in the Sunshine State,” Patronis said in a letter sent this week to IOC President Thomas Bach.
“I would welcome the opportunity to pitch Florida and help you make the right contacts to get this done.”
In an email to Reuters, the IOC said it has not received a letter from Patronis and referred to the statement issued last Friday that said it is committed to having the Olympic Games in Tokyo this year.
In his letter, Patronis drew attention to what he called the strength of the state’s vaccination roll-out along with Florida holding several sporting events, including including the entirety of last year’s NBA playoffs, during the pandemic.