A new report has suggested that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will not go forward this summer as planned due to escalating concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.
According to USA Today, veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound explained that the sporting event will be postponed, most likely to 2021; the IOC is expected to announce its decision soon.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” he told the news outlet. “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, “It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
Pound was interviewed a day after the IOC said it would consider postponing but not cancelling the Olympics because it faced mounting pressure over the pandemic. More than 353,600 people around the world have now been infected, and at least 15,430 have died.
In a statement Sunday, the sports governing body announced that it was mulling several options, including going ahead with the event as scheduled or delaying it. Sports federations, public health authorities and even countries including Canada and Australia have urged the IOC to rethink its plans to hold the event in July.
”We are in a dilemma: Cancellation of the Olympic Games would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes,” IOC president Thomas Bach wrote in a letter Sunday. “Cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody. Therefore it is not on our agenda. … Contrary to other sports events, to postpone the Olympic Games is an extremely complex challenge.”
Pressure to Cancel Tokyo Olympics Mounts Amid Dramatic Spike in Coronavirus Cases
From Coronavirus Fears to Strict Marketing Rules, How the 2020 Summer Olympics Will Challenge Athletic Brands