Back in May, Thomas Bach posted that having Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022 just six months apart could be a good thing.
Holding the two events so close together "will keep and even raise the awareness of the world for the Olympic Games at a very high level," the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President said.
Five months on, though I can sort of see the logic, his remark looks more and more to me like wishful thinking.
Serious question marks still hover over both events; but the sources of uncertainty in the two cases, perhaps surprisingly, could hardly be more different.
In the case of Tokyo, the IOC faces a giant logistical puzzle.
What sort of Olympic event will conditions on the ground next spring and summer permit to take place?
Will all the usual stakeholders be present? In anything like their habitual numbers? What about athletes? And how much additional hassle will inevitable safety procedures entail for everyone involved?
We just don't know.
What is more, the background environment is apt to change in fundamental yet unpredictable ways week by week.
Laying on a Summer Games in a vigorous if, on the whole, polite democracy is a daunting undertaking in the best of circumstances.
Trying to do so while a deadly and highly infectious pathogen is pinballing its way around the globe must be significantly more difficult.
No wonder Bach's IOC colleague Christophe Dubi wore a haunted look at last week's press conference.
In direct contrast, with each week that passes I have become more persuaded that Beijing will be capable of laying on pretty much a full Winter Olympic programme for the benefit of whichever stakeholders decide to make their way out there.
What makes me think this? Well, the Chinese nation is so vast and its economy so vibrant – having approximately tripled in size, in US dollar terms, since the Summer Olympics were staged there in 2008 – that putting on a Winter Games now seems a relatively trifling thing for it, a bit like asking Epsom to stage a donkey derby.
Add to this an authoritarian state and a general population in the Beijing region that is both cowed and highly patriotic, and one may be sure that every stop will be pulled out for something with the status of a national project.
Furthermore, while it is hard to be sure, it is starting to look like some sort of vaccine against COVID-19 is already beginning to be rolled out among significant numbers of the Chinese population.
The Financial Times, whose coverage of China is both detailed and usually well-informed, reported recently that "a representative from state-owned China National Biotec Group, or Sinopharm, revealed that hundreds of thousands of Chinese had already taken the company's two leading experimental COVID-19 vaccines".
The report went on: "Details of the programme's scope remain unclear, but Government statements suggest use was originally restricted to frontline health workers and state employees travelling overseas to high-risk areas…
"The programme now appears to be expanding to include large portions of the population, in what experts said was a high-risk strategy for vaccine developers to distribute and test products before they hit global markets."
While safety concerns have been raised, and many foreigners might look askance at taking a Chinese vaccine, clearly if immunity can be assured in the local population, the logistical challenge of what is in any case a much smaller event than its summer counterpart begins to appear far more manageable.
What a vaccine will do nothing to confront, however, is the ominous and, many would say, lengthening political shadow hanging over Beijing 2022.
China's rapid emergence as a new economic superpower, coupled with its comportment in Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong and over Taiwan, has touched off a new cold war with the United States and its chief allies.
A new era of sporting boycotts, such as those which disfigured the Olympics, to Bach's personal cost, in the 1980s looms as a distinct possibility – and Beijing 2022 is in the front line.
With the interval between the Japanese and Chinese events being so brief, one has to wonder whether – in the absence of détente (and I am advised that a Joe Biden Presidency is unlikely to make much difference) – the IOC risks being so transfixed by the former that it does not focus its very considerable diplomatic resources on the latter until it is too late.
The stakes are extremely high.
This is first and foremost – for now – a trade war.
Even if a full complement of Olympic athletes shows up in Beijing, therefore, it is worth asking how conducive conditions will be for the corporate sponsors who pay dearly to associate their brands with the five-ring logo to derive maximum commercial advantage from their rights.
South Korea's Samsung, an IOC worldwide sponsor, for example, is one of the companies benefiting directly as Chinese products are blocked or limited by US sanctions.
"Samsung profits from Huawei's pain," as a recent FT headline succinctly put it.
What sort of reception could Samsung and its representatives expect in Beijing if such circumstances prevail or deteriorate?
More worrisome still, just as the Soviet team stayed away from the 1984 Games in Los Angeles after the US led a boycott of Moscow 1980, it seems more than likely that a US boycott of Beijing 2022 would be reciprocated by China at LA's next Summer Games in 2028.
At very least, the possibility would torment Olympic leaders for six years.
The IOC is one of the few organisations in the world with the diplomatic leverage to persuade rival superpowers not to extend their theatre of operations to sport.
But the way things are going, the task could well require the full-on attention of some of Lausanne's most experienced and subtle minds.
My question is whether the still Herculean task of mounting an event which bears more than passing resemblance to an Olympic Games next year in Tokyo will leave the IOC with enough time and energy to give the Beijing 2022 political dossier the attention it requires.
I do not for now know the answer.