The Cancellation of the Olympics has the International Olympic Committee Rocking on their Heels
March 30, 2020
As recently announced, the world will not get to enjoy the 2020 Olympic games due to the Coronavirus epidemic. There has been a lot of talk from around the world when would be the best time to reschedule the games and get everyone on board.
The Prime Minister of Japan and the IOC announced on Monday, March 30 that the Tokyo Games would be rescheduled and hopefully take place between July 23'rd 2021 and run to August 8, and will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.
Even though the Olympics are considered the one event that brings people together from around the world, in the wake of the Coronavirus it’s the right thing to do. To date, the Olympics have not been canceled since 1940.
That year, the Olympics were also held in Japan and got canceled.
Making a Difficult Decision
Although the decision was difficult, especially for the athletes, many U.S. teams have been racing around trying to find alternatives for training. Also, many of the athletes have not even secured their spots to compete.
This is a highly stressful and emotional time for people everywhere as everyone is trying to make sense and gain control of their lives with some sense of understanding.
The U.S. told Forbes on Monday that it’s really important to make sure we make the right choices regarding Tokyo 2020 using good reasoning, data, and guidance from the medical experts vs going strictly on emotions that most people are currently experiencing.
A two-time Olympian and 3-time Olympic medalist in archery told Forbes that this really does suck no matter how you look at it.
Funding Summer & Winter Games Is a lot to Handle
Deciding on the delay was headed by Canada, and followed by Australia, Germany, Norway, and Brazil who also had their own concerns. The question remained - when will the Olympics be held?
Last Friday, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committees requested the postponement of the games until next year. A few hours later, the USA Track & Field sent its own letter but did not suggest when that date should be. The idea of a 2-year delay was floated around and was supported by Japan.
It’s really no surprise since the announcement on Sunday was released saying it’s impossible for the event to be held in its complete form.
Some members of the executive board have believed the game should be delayed for 2 years but even though that could be a good solution, schedules for 2021 have already been decided.
As far as funding for the games and the issues that will arise for countries that compete in both the Summer and Winter Games and have already been scheduled for 2022 in Beijing.
Moving further out will cause problems due to the costs of the games and further delays are in funding for the 2024 Olympics.
The Longer the Delays for Getting them to Compete, the Greater the Risks are for Injuries
The leading concern, at this time, is working on a new qualification process as only 57% of the athlete spots for 2020 were filled.
At this time, athletes can train alone or in very small groups. They are welcome to continue right away and be uninterrupted as long as they practice social distancing said a U.S. team executive who actually advocated keeping the games on but competing in empty stadiums.
This is a very difficult time for everyone from around the world but especially for the athletes. For many athletes, they have worked their entire lives to get to the Olympics and this could be their one and only shot.
Will the final decision actually take place in July? only time will tell.
Most of the decision-making will depend on the Coronavirus and how this plays out. Many people do understand that self-quarantining is very important but everyone is looking forward to their lives returning to normal.