The 2021 Olympics in Tokyo is in danger.
Amid surging coronavirus figures in Japan, the Prime Minister has extended a state of emergency. Hopes to run the international games in July are becoming increasingly uncertain.
But a new suitor has emerged.
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And it comes from a place right in our backyard.
Florida officials made their official bid to host the games in the event that the city of Tokyo is too overwhelmed by the raging pandemic to handle the Olympics.
The Sunshine State’s Chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, wrote to the International Olympic Committee to make its case for Florida as an emergency landing spot.
“With media reports of leaders in Japan ‘privately’ concluding that they are too concerned about the pandemic for the 2021 Olympics to take place,” Patronis wrote, “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.”
“I would welcome the opportunity to pitch Florida and help you make the right contacts to get this done,” he added.
Now, on the surface, this may sound silly.
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But Florida — which has refused to implement restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus — has successfully hosted the NFL, NBA, and even UFC cage fighting events in the state.
For better or for worse, Florida is well-versed at running sporting events during the time of coronavirus.
Even Disney World, an international attraction, is up and running.
And Patronis made sure to highlight all of this in his letter to the committee.
“As a tourism state,” he explained, “Florida welcomed 131 million tourists in 2019. Our state has ample hotel capacity and well-maintained transportation networks to accommodate the kind of infrastructure required for a major undertaking of this sort.
“Florida has 20 commercial airports, 31 urban transit systems, 12 major universities that have existing sporting facilities – and we have world-renowned health care facilities in each of our regions. I think most importantly, however, we have a state with leaders who are willing to get this done.
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Of course, the Olympics shifting to the U.S. would be a monumental shift ahead of July for an Olympics already postponed in the past.
But we want to hear from you.
Would you want the Olympics to come to Florida during the pandemic?
Vote here --