Photo: Extratime Media
An IOC member told USA Today that the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo will most likely be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic to 2021. The details will be worked out over the next month.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” IOC member Dick Pound said in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
He added that he believes that the IOC’s next steps will soon come. “It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
A spokesperson said that the IOC is looking at different scenarios.
IOC President Thomas Bach said he was going to take the next four weeks to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin July 24 and run through August 9, yesterday. Bach has ruled out canceling the Games.
Later on Sunday, Canada announced that it will not be sending athletes to Tokyo. Australia did the same, but more in an indirect way. Brazil, Germany, and Norway have been begging the IOC to postpone the games.
If the Olympics were to be suspended, it would mark the first time the IOC has done so. The Summer Olympics in 1916 and 1940 and the Winter Olympics in 1944 were all canceled due to World Wars I and II, respectively.
Boycotts also caused serious issues for the events in 1976, 1980 and 1984. But in each case, the event itself went on as scheduled.
Leagues of all sports across the world have either canceled, suspended, or paused their respective seasons including three of the major leagues across the United States due to the virus. None of the leagues have given a timeline for a return if they do at all.
By Harrison Brown