TOKYO-even, the Summer Olympics, could withstand the force of the coronavirus outbreak. After some weeks of hedging, the IOC took the comparable note step of postponing the world’s biggest sporting event. This global extravaganza has been cemented into the calendar for many years.
Tokyo Games accounted for 11,000 athletes from more than 200 countries with at a reported expense of $28 billion, had been scheduled to start July 24. They will now be moved into 2021 on dates to be determined later.
They will still be the 2020 Olympics, a symbolic gesture that the International Olympic Committee thinks will allow the game to “stand as a beacon of hope,” as it stipulated in delivering the news
“The leaders accepted that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope,” the IOC said in a statement earlier on Tuesday.
The decision gives a sense of relief for the 11,000 or so potential Olympians from over 200 countries who no longer have to press forward with training under nearly impossible conditions that are unsure of when exactly they need to be ready.
Thankful to finally have some clarity concerning the Olympic Games. A big decision, but I think the right one for sure,” British sprinter Adam Gemili reported on Twitter. “Time to regain, look after each other on this difficult time and go at the right time.”
A reason the IOC took longer to make the decision was that it wanted to find out logistics. It will be a daunting challenge. Many of the arena, stadiums and hotels are under contract for games held from July 24 to August 7. Remaking that preparation is doable, but will come at a cost. There are also considerations above the price tag of the Games. Among them: The $1 billion-plus the IOC was to receive from NBC, the millions in small athlete endorsement contracts which are now in limbo, the consideration of the individual national Olympic committee to name some.
There is also the matter of the international sports schedule. Virtually all 33 sports on the Olympic programs have essential events, including world championships, on the docket for 2021. moreover, the best example of what a disruption this can cause would come from the track. Popular Hayward Field at the University of Oregon was rebuild and expanded at $200 million to hold next year’s world championships. Now that the competition will likely be shifted.
Virtually every sport globally has suspended play in the wake of the pandemic diseases. The global economy is faltering, and people are increasingly being told it’s not safe to congregate in large groups or, in most cases, even to exit their houses. The gym is shut across America. Suspending Olympic trials in a matter of months was becoming a practical difficulty.
Olympic organizers in Canada and Australia were saying they either would not or could not send a team to Tokyo in July. World Athletics and the three most significant sports in the United States, swimming, track and gymnastics, were calling for adjustment.
As recently as Sunday, the IOC said it would take up to four weeks to reach a decision. 4 weeks ended up being two days.
I’m thrilled for the athletes, Bob Bowman, who used to be a coach at Michael Phelps who now works with other Olympic hopefuls, told The fellow Press. That is what this is all about at the end of the day, and the world that has to share in their journey and be a part of it. we can now have a real Olympics that is healthy and fair.”