Pound: Olympics To Be Postponed
After seemingly delaying the inevitable, it appears the 2020 Olympics will not be going on as planned.
International Olympic Committee representative Dick Pound spoke to USA Today and stated the Olympics will be postponed. This is a direct result of the coronavirus. Details are being worked out. Within the next four weeks, it will be determined if the Summer Games, originally set to take place in Tokyo, Japan, will take place in 2021 or another time.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound stated. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
This is the first time the Olympics have been suspended. The games have been cancelled five times: 1916 Summer Games, 1940 Summer and Winter Games, 1944 Summer and Winter Games.
Initially, the Olympics were going to go on as planned, as per Mr. Pound. Back in February, Pound stated the following:
“As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo. 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.”
Following that announcement, a number of situations escalated, forcing the IOC’s hand. The Israeli judo team cancelled their training camp in Japan, while the IOC Boxing Task Force had to suspend all boxing qualifiers as they were happening. The International Judo Federation also suspended all events, while the Karate 1-Premier League events in Rabat, Morocco and Madrid were cancelled.
Following those events, Japanese Olympic Committee member Kaori Yamaguchi pleaded her case that the Summer Games be postponed. Earlier today, Canada and Australia joined Norway, Brazil and Slovenia in announcing they will not be sending athletes to the Summer Games if it was to still take place. The United States swimming and track governing bodies even called for a postponement.
The dominoes were falling, and it would be assumed other countries would join the growing list. A final decision on the Olympics will be made by the IOC, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.