IOC members, nationwide Olympic committees and athletes had been all racing towards the identical conclusion Monday: The Tokyo Olympics will not be going to happen this summer time.
Craig Reedie, a longtime member of the Worldwide Olympic Committee, advised The Related Press that everybody can see the place issues are headed, with the coronavirus pandemic spreading and Olympic hopefuls around the globe unable to coach.
“Within the steadiness of possibilities, the data identified about situations in Japan and the COVID-19’s impact on the remainder of world clearly signifies the probability of postponement,” Reedie mentioned. “The size of postponement is the key problem for the IOC.”
Earlier within the day, IOC member Dick Pound advised USA Right now that he had reached the identical conclusion concerning the video games, that are scheduled to start out July 24. A tweet put out by the newspaper learn: “The 2020 Summer season Olympics Have Been Postponed Over Coronavirus Issues.”
The IOC mentioned no determination had been made, and Reedie was fast to acknowledge that he was talking just for himself and never due to any perception supplied to him by IOC president Thomas Bach, who will information the ultimate determination. Pound didn’t return a message left by AP. Earlier within the day, after Pound’s pronouncement, an IOC spokesman mentioned, “It’s the proper of each IOC member to interpret the choice of the IOC (govt board) from Sunday.”
Certainly, the interpretations and opinions are simply that and haven’t at all times been spot-on. Final month, Pound advised AP that cancellation, not postponement, was the one actual possibility if the Tokyo Video games couldn’t begin on time.
However rather a lot has modified since then, and the fast momentum of the “postpone” motion amongst athletes and nations appeared to decrease the probability that it’s going to take all of 4 weeks for the IOC to achieve a conclusion. That was the timeline the IOC’s govt committee selected Sunday when it introduced it was placing collectively working teams to review the large logistical points concerned in suspending the video games.
Amongst these points embody the provision of venues in Japan, the disruption to the worldwide sports activities calendar throughout no matter new date is chosen, the resetting of qualifying procedures, and insurance coverage concerns; each the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee maintain huge insurance policies, the legalese of which can take time to unwind.
After that IOC announcement, nonetheless, each Canada and Australia — whose senior Olympic official is IOC member John Coates, the chief of the Tokyo inspection staff — despatched phrase that they might not or couldn’t ship groups to Japan for an Olympics that begin in July.
“I do know that is heartbreaking for therefore many individuals — athletes, coaches, employees and followers — however this was completely the proper name, and everybody ought to observe their lead,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mentioned.
Different key delegations which have pushed for a postponement embody World Athletics, the worldwide federation for the centerpiece sport of the Olympics, together with Olympic committees in Brazil, Slovenia and Germany. USA Swimming and USA Observe and Subject, which mix to type a few third of the U.S. staff, additionally need a new date.
Athletes additionally grew louder of their request for postponement. A monitor group referred to as The Athletics Affiliation joined one other athlete group, World Athlete, in urgent the IOC to behave.
The monitor group is led by two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor of the U.S., who mentioned greater than 4,000 monitor and discipline athletes responded to a survey, and 87% mentioned their coaching had been adversely affected by the coronavirus.
Particular person athletes continued to talk out as effectively.
“Though I’m upset that the Olympics won’t be occurring this 12 months, I agree that that is the very best determination to be able to preserve the athletes and spectators wholesome and to forestall the virus from spreading additional,” U.S. gymnast Morgan Hurd mentioned in a tweet, reacting to Pound’s feedback.
And whereas saying it’s a completed deal is likely to be leaping the gun, it feels inevitable the announcement will come.