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Norway

King Harald: “I do not think there will be any Olympics in Tokyo”


Oskar Aanmoen/Royal Central

King Harald of Norway does not believe that there will be an Olympics in Tokyo next summer. His Majesty made the observation in a TV on show Sunday evening, broadcast by the state television-channel NRK.

King Harald sat down this summer to talk to Karsten Warholm and his coach Leif Olav Alnes. Their conversation was shown this past weekend. Norwegian athlete Karsten Warholm won gold in the 400 m hurdles at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships, and at the 2018 European Championships.

Many Norwegians reacted on social media when Karsten Warholm showed up to meet the king wearing shorts. The King himself commented on this immediately when Warholm and his coach arrived at the royal farm on Bygdøy. The king laughed well and said: “You are lucky you who can use shorts in this heat”.

The three talked mainly about sports and then the King expressed that he had no faith that it would be possible to hold the Olympic Games in Tokyo in the summer of 2021. The King continued: “Do we want to gather 70,000 people now? No, we cannot do that. Neither for the sake of the participants nor for the sake of the mood. It will be completely empty. The Olympics is the only place where all the sports are gathered”.

Karsten Warholm replied to the King’s comments: “It is better to compete than not to compete. At the same time, there are so many considerations that are more important now.” The Kings answer was: “It is interesting, but a little scary too”.

King Harald was himself the Norwegian flag bearer when the Olympics were last held in Tokyo in 1964. He participated in sailing in three summer Olympics. His father, King Olav, won Olympic gold in sailing 92 years ago.

This summer’s Olympics were postponed as the coronavirus pandemic developed rapidly in March. The Olympic opening is now scheduled for July 23, 2021. It may be the first ever Olympic event without spectators.



About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.