MIAMI (AFP) - Florida's chief financial officer on Monday (Jan 25) told the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the American state would be happy to host the Olympic Games amid speculation that current host Japan may back out.
Mr Jimmy Patronis sent a letter to Mr Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, "to encourage you to consider relocating the 2021 Olympics from Tokyo, Japan, to the United States of America, and, more specifically, to Florida".
"With media reports of leaders in Japan 'privately' concluding that they are too concerned about the pandemic for the 2021 Olympics to take place, there is still time to deploy a site selection team to Florida," he said.
The letter, signed by Mr Patronis and posted online, cited the supposed strength of state's vaccination roll-out, its economic reopening and sports events it has hosted during the pandemic, as well as the fact that its theme parks, including Disney World, are open for business.
But Florida has struggled badly in the coronavirus pandemic, with over 25,000 deaths so far in the state, as the US death toll crosses 420,000.
"Whatever precautions are required, let's figure it out and get it done," Mr Patronis said.
Last Friday, parties responsible for organising the Tokyo Games - scheduled for last year, but delayed for a year because of the global health crisis - insisted they would be sticking to the planned dates of July 23 until Aug 8.
"I am determined to realise a safe and secure Tokyo Games as proof that mankind will have overcome the virus," said Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.