The rescheduling of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is inevitable but it won’t be that simple
Photo courtesy of Inquirer Sports
Due to the coronavirus crisis, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed for one year, according to Dick Pound, veteran member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC has been under pressure from athletes all over the world to delay the Games to stop the spread of the virus.
Although an official statement hasn’t been released by the committee itself, Pound told USA Today that the games will be postponed and will definitely not start on its original date of July 24.
“It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense,” says Pound.
In light of the health crisis, the executive board of the IOC previously announced that it would step up preparatory measures for the Games. It said that cooperation and commitment of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Japanese authorities, and all International Federations and National Olympic Committees were necessary to push through either with modified operational plans or a postponement in the start date.
However, the rapid increase of coronavirus cases around the world has raised doubts among athletes and the Olympic committees. Many athletes have already been unable to prepare for the Games due to the worldwide shutdown of training facilities. Countries such as Brazil and Norway have been urging the Committee to postpone the Games.
Canada was the first country to announce that they would not be sending their delegates if the Games would not be postponed. Shortly after, Australia declared that it is unlikely for them to compete this summer.
There hasn’t been an official announcement from the IOC regarding the final decision, but Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also acknowledged the possible postponement of the Games last Monday.
Many governments and organizing committees have urged the cancellations of large gatherings all around the world in order to “flatten the curve,” a term used to encourage social distancing to reduce the spread of the virus. The postponement of the Games is seen as the best measure for the safety of the athletes and staff involved.