Corona Virus: Possible delay of the Olympic Games

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( — February 29, 2020) — As the date of the Tokyo Olympics approaches and the corona virus spreads around the world, there is talk of the possibility that the biggest sporting event- the Summer Olympic Games could be postponed, or even cancelled.

It is “not impossible” for the Olympics to be held one year later than what was originally planned, Dick Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told Reuters.

“Only if there is the worst possible outcome of this virus and it becomes a real pandemic or world health is at stake then we reluctantly have to say well that’s more important frankly than the Olympics,” Pound told Reuters.

“But we will do our very best to make sure that you get your Olympic opportunity,” he added.

Athletes around the world are striving to reach the peak of their fitness and coincide it with the Olympic Games schedule. Any delay of the competition would ruin that important strategy for athletes.

The Olympics are scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9.

Ian Torp, winner of the Olympic gold medals in swimming, said athletes themselves have to decide if they want to compete, however, he told reporters in Canberra that he is “definitely worried.”

Pound said the IOC remains in constant contact with the WHO and deciding whether to delay or cancel the event. He said that the committee’s plan is to open the Games on July 24, “unless the elephant in the room.”

In many highly developed nations, the Olympics isn’t a priority, Forbs article reminds. Cities including Boston, Munich, Oslo, Stockholm and others considering Olympics 2015 bids scrapped the idea, fearing quite rightly, the debt and corruption—that tends to accompany the games.

Tokyo, however, strives to get the organization of the Olympic Games in 2020, partly thanks to Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe’s own attachment to 1964. That year, when Tokyo hosted the Olympics, was a genuine rejoining-the-world moment.