Tokyo Olympics 2020 Postponed due to Coronavirus Pandemic
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been postponed to 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring the world to a standstill. Keeping the safety of the people and athletes in mind, the International Olympic Committee and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shared their concerns about the pandemic and decided to postpone the games to next year.
The news doesn’t come as a surprise to many as there were speculations about the games being moved to 2021. Scheduled to start on July 24 this year, the Canadian and Australian contingent withdrew from the games earlier this week, citing the pandemic. As other participating nations soon started an appeal to move the games, the IOC took the decision on Tuesday evening.
The official joint statement, led by the IOC President Thomas Bach, read that the games would be conducted not later than summer 2021. It also recognized Japan’s efforts to host the games, while acknowledging the dire reality of our times.
The announcement, while much needed, came as a big blow to the host nation. Japan has already invested billions into hosting the game and postponing it is likely to impact the country’s GDP. Moreover, the delay will cost the country extra as it looks to solve the logistical puzzle that lies ahead. With local tourism also in a slump, Japan faces a mighty task ahead of it.
More Time for Football and Other Sports?
With no Olympics this year, football and tennis stars can breathe a sigh of relief as they look to get through the remainder of the season. Football in Europe is effectively suspended until the end of April. Tennis out of the picture until June; the NBA season has also been suspended – all for the same reason. However, hoping that things are better by June/July, the professional leagues and organizers across the world can start looking into making up for the lost time.
That said, it may be a logistical nightmare next year. The Euro 2020 has also been moved to 2021. Plus, Japan’s decision to complete the games before summer could also mean conflict for some big events like the NBA, UEFA Champions League, Indian Wells Open, among others. It is a bridge we will arrive next year but for now, the reality stands with no Olympics games in 2020.
Never in the history of the Olympics have the games been moved to a different year. They were not conducted only thrice – owing to the World Wars. Coincidentally, Japan was the host nation for the 1940 games. Since then, they have hosted the game twice.