The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is considering a postponement of Tokyo 2020. The organization has a deadline of four weeks to make a decision. Notice that the problem here is that they will be discussing it as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world. According to the IOC, discussions would include the option of pushing back the July 24 start date.
They are also thinking about moving the Games by at least a year. However, according to the Committee, canceling the event would not solve problems. Thus, is not on their agenda. On Monday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that postponing the Tokyo Olympic Games may be an option too. But, only if holding the event in “complete form” became impossible.
Opinions about the postponement of Tokyo 2020
The IOC’s decision to even consider postponement was met with relief from several major stakeholders. They include World Athletics, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), and major national Olympic committees. The IPC said it fully supports the decision to investigate potential scenarios. The IOC will start detailed discussions, in partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Japanese authorities.
The discussion has the goal of deciding the assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation. Besides, they will discuss its impact on the Olympic Games. Of course, this includes the postponement scenario.
Opposition to holding the Games in July has risen sharply in the past 48 hours. Several major stakeholders called for a delay because of the pandemic. The companies that asked for this delay were US Track and Field and UK Athletics, along with several national Olympic committees.
The IOC’s announcement came shortly after Global Athlete called on the organization to postpone the Olympics. However, the original idea was to do it only when the coronavirus pandemic was under control. While all recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of athletes. Of course, the world community would has to be safe as well.
The fact that many athletes cannot prepare and train because of the anti-COVID-19 measures is problematic. Because of this uncertainty, it is getting difficult to cultivate hope. The Global Athlete statement said that “under the current global restrictions that are limiting public gatherings … athletes do not have the ability to appropriately prepare for these Games.” In this case, their health and safety must come first.
Contrary to other sports events, a postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is an extremely complex challenge. The complexity comes from the international sports calendar. It contemplates more than 33 Olympic sports. Did you know that? Because of that, it must be adapted. According to IOC, cancellation is not on the agenda. It would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 people. However, a scaled-down Games will also be considered. The final decision will be made in four weeks. Let us hope that they will be wise enough to do what is good for everyone!