As more and more businesses and events are shutting down because of the COVID-19 outbreak, one major question mark has been the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. A lot of planning and money goes into hosting the Olympics – whether its the summer or winter Olympics – so we expected the International Olympic Committee to take its time in making a decision. It seems that such a decision is right around the corner, if one IOC member has it right.
Yesterday, the IOC said that a decision about whether or not to move forward as planned would be made over the next four weeks. Specifically, the IOC said that it would “step up its scenario-planning for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020,” while noting that outright cancellation wasn’t something that was being considered.
Today, however, IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that the Summer Games will be postponed and that the IOC will spend the next four weeks determining a course of action. “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
While that isn’t hard confirmation from the IOC as a whole – indeed, an IOC spokesperson said that Pound was free “to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced yesterday” and nothing else – it seems that postponement is probably what will end up happening. So far, Canada has announced that it won’t be sending athletes to the Olympics, with other countries like Germany, Brazil, and Norway pushing the IOC to postpone them.
In any case, Pound says that new details “will come in stages,” over the next several weeks, and noted the possibility of the Olympics being pushed back to 2021. We’ll see what happens from here, but right now, it looks like postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is something that’s certainly on the table.