Tokyo Olympics 2020 have been finally postponed
The sports event of the decade becomes the latest victim of coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic has forced all sports events to close. NBA, NHL, Premier League, MotoGP; you name it. And the flagship event of the decade, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, is no exception. The Summer Olympics would have started on July 24, 2020. Organizers were hesitant to postpone the event, given the time and money Japan has spent on the event. But the International Olympic Committee finally made the overdue announcement.
IOC postpones the Olympics to 2021:
A veteran member of the IOC, Dick Pound made the announcement after days of discussion:
On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know. It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.
However, this was an unexpected announcement. Yesterday, IOC President Bach said a confirmed decision will take up to a week. Moreover, the committee was very adamant about keeping the Olympics on schedule despite the pandemic. But, after the exponential rise in cases outside China, Britain, Canada, and Australia pulled out of the event. IOC confirmed that the Olympics’ cancelation was not on the table in any case. The group talked about the economical and logistical nightmare:
A number of critical venues needed for the Games could potentially not be available anymore. The situations with millions of nights already booked in hotels is extremely difficult to handle. And the international sports calendar for at least 33 Olympic sports would have to be adapted. These are just a few of many, many more challenges.
The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis
The Olympics have only canceled three times in its entire history. That was during the World Wars (1916, 1940, 1944). Moreover, the event only came close to cancelation during the Cold War (1980, 1984) when numerous countries pulled out in protest. Now you can understand how immense the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is. The Olympics are not a national event that millions of people watch. It is a tradition spanning 2700 years, televised to billions of people around the world. This postponement truly reveals how worse the situation has gotten. And why organizers were hesitant to declare it a lost cause so soon. Moreover, the future is uncertain as the total number of coronavirus cases cross 400k with a death rate of 14%.