The giant Olympic rings erected in Tokyo Bay were removed Thursday for a maintenance operation of about four months, while the 2020 Olympics were postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 69-ton interlacing of colored rings was installed earlier this year off the Odaiba district, on the edge of Tokyo Bay, as the Japanese capital began the final countdown to the Games.
They were to remain in place until the end of the event, originally scheduled for August 9, to be replaced by the Paralympic Games symbol.
But the barge supporting the monument, about fifteen meters high and 32 meters wide, was towed to the shore on Thursday. The whole “will be subject to a security check and a maintenance operation for about four months,” the city said in a statement, adding that the date of his return was not yet determined.
The Games were originally slated to open on July 24, but organizers made the historic decision in March to postpone them until the summer of 2021, as COVID-19 progressed around the world.
Olympic officials, internationally and Japan, repeat that they still plan to hold the event next year as planned, but many experts doubt the pandemic will be under control by then.
In addition, according to several recent surveys, a clear majority of Japanese want a further postponement of the Olympics or their cancellation due to COVID-19, which is currently on the rise in the Japanese archipelago.