IOC to delay Tokyo Olympics
Will the JO-2020 take place this summer? The International Olympic Committee (IOC) finally opened the door on Sunday to a postponement more and more widely desired by the sports world because of the coronavirus, but gave itself four weeks to decide.
On the other hand, any outright cancellation of the Tokyo Games “is not on the agenda” because it “would destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes from the 210 National Olympic Committees, the refugee team and Paralympic athletes ”, assured the president of the body Thomas Bach.
“We have started discussions with all partners to draw up an inventory of the rapid development of the health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including a postponement scenario (for the Olympic Games, note)”, writes Thomas Bach in a letter to athletes, made public Sunday evening.
“We are confident that we will have finalized these discussions in the next four weeks,” he adds.
“World Athletics welcomes discussions with the IOC to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games,” the International Athletics Federation said in a statement, “ready to work with the IOC and all sports on other dates.” ”
The various scenarios envisaged by the IOC consist “of modifying the existing plans for the Olympic Games which are to begin on July 24 and also of modifying the dates of the start of the Games”, explained the authority. It is therefore a matter of postponing them for a few months, a year (2021), or even more. The option of maintaining the original dates (July 24-August 9) seems increasingly improbable.
Because the requests for postponement flowing so far in dispersed order should give substance in the coming days to national grievances close to a plebiscite for the postponement.
The National Olympic Committees (NOCs) consult internally and prepare their responses to the questionnaire proposed by the IOC on the impact of the coronavirus crisis in preparation for the Games.
But for some, while almost all sports competitions are pending in the world, it is no longer time to procrastinate about the holding of the world’s largest sporting event.
“Everyone in the sport agrees that the Games cannot be held on the scheduled dates,” said the president of the French Athletics Federation André Giraud, referring in particular to the powerful American swimming and athletics federations. , as well as the Spanish athletics federation, which called the day before to postpone the Olympic Games.
“The athletes are under stress and we need to reassure them. We can’t wait any longer! ”He insisted.
Carl Lewis proposes 2022
In Germany, the NOC addressed its athletes directly.
“It is a question of clarifying who among you might want to participate in the Olympic Games on the scheduled dates and who is in favor of another date”, explained the President of the German NOC (DOSB) Alfons Hörmann to his athletes.
Former sprint king Carl Lewis proposed rescheduling the Tokyo Games in … 2022 because it would be “more comfortable for athletes who have” time to prepare. ”
“We would include the Tokyo Summer Games [after] the Winter Games [in Beijing], it would be a kind of festive Olympic year,” he imagined.
But if the opinion of the American, now 58 years old, is only worth the weight of his Olympic medals (10, including 9 in gold), a poll carried out among his compatriots called to participate in the next Olympic Games and published on Sunday will very much in the same direction.
Thus, out of 300 athletes questioned by their NOC (the USOPC), 70% voted to postpone the Games.
“I find the IOC to be really, really selfish in trying to keep them going,” commented the pitcher Gwen Berry.