Since the start of the coronavirus, a number of sporting events have had to be altered or cancelled altogether. From soccer to MMA, no sport seems to be safe. One of the biggest events the world participates in is on the cusp of following suit.
The International Olympic Committee is deciding what to do with the Olympics this summer, which will be taking place in Tokyo, Japan. Speaking to The Associated Press, IOC member Dick Pound discussed the option to cancel the Summer Games altogether. He stated that it is impossible to postpone or even move the Olympics.
“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’ A lot of things have to start happening,” Pound stated. “You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios.”
In the case something does go wrong, the IOC has prepared an emergency fund of $1 billion. The IOC’s income, with $5.7 billion of it coming from broadcasting rights, has been saved for something like this.
According to the latest from CNN, the virus has had over 80,000 cases in and out of China, with over 2,700 deaths.
Several sports associated with the Olympics have already been cancelled. The Israeli judo team cancelled training camp in Tokyo, while several boxing cards have been moved as a result of the virus. The Olympics have been cancelled only five times in its history; in 1916 (Summer Games) due to World War I, as well as in 1940 and 1944 (both Summer and Winter Games) due to World War II.
Over 11,000 athletes will be participating in the Olympics. As of now, Pound has stated that the show will go on, with updates expected to come shortly.
“As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo,” Pound went on to say. “All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual. So keep focused on your sport and be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation.”