The 2021 Tokyo Olympics are currently up in the air. A report came out last week saying the Japanese government had privately concluded that they could not hold the Summer Olympics this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. This is disappointing, but unsurprising considering the circumstances. What is surprising is that earlier this week Florida threw its hat into the ring to host. Seriously. Here's the open letter from Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis to the Olympic Committee. Via My Florida CFO:
The State of Florida has successfully allowed sports to take place during the pandemic. When most states shut down their sporting events, the city of Jacksonville hosted the Ultimate Fighting Championship (the UFC) and the National Basketball Association (NBA) setup the “bubble” to hold games in Orlando. Moreover, during football season the National Football League (NFL) and college teams were able to compete on Florida soil. Additionally, our international tourist destinations, like Disney parks have been open and operating safely in Florida for some time. In fact, Disney serves as an incredible model for how to run a complex organization in the midst of COVID-19.
This is just an incredible swing for the fences by the state of Florida. Honestly, this isn't the worst idea I've ever heard. The Olympics probably should not take place during a pandemic. It's just an incredible use of money, time and resources when our priorities should absolutely be elsewhere, but this is America, so why start now? Florida's approach to the last year has been decidedly YOLO and 200 or so people are dying every day from COVID-19 so why not host the Olympics?
So now for the important part - does this last-minute Olympic bid have the support of Joe Biden's administration? FOX News' Peter Doocy asked White House press secretary Jen Psaki about the Olympic bid at yesterday's briefing. Instead of saying yes, of course we want to host the Olympics, an event which generally takes a decade to prepare for, a few months from now she deflected and told Doocy to ask the U.S. Olympic Committee and the IOC.
It's just good to be back to serious business.