The Summer Olympics have already been postponed once to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but one key organizer wouldn’t rule out the chances of further delays.
Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said Friday that there was no way to say with certainty whether the rescheduled games would take place as currently scheduled.
“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Muto said, via Stephen Wade of the Associated Press. “We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”
It’s understandable that no guarantees are being offered here. Much depends on how the pandemic progresses and whether nations want to send athletes, which is what forced the postponement in the first place. Summer of 2021 should be more conducive to the Olympics, but we don’t know for sure yet.
It is unclear if USA Basketball head coach Gregg Popovich is going to coach the team beyond the Tokyo Olympics, but he is going to ride out the coronavirus epidemic for as long as necessary.
USA Basketball managing director Jerry Colangelo said Tuesday that both he and Popovich will remain with the team in 2021, which is when the Tokyo Olympics are expected to take place. The Summer Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
“The commitments everyone made for 2020 are still there, we’re all in and we’re committed,” Colangelo said, via ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. “It’s important to deal with the unknowns and this virus. This too shall pass and we’ll be back for everyone’s well being.”
Team USA training was scheduled to begin July 4 with the Olympics starting July 24, but the Tokyo Games were postponed this week. A new date for the Olympics has not been announced, and it’s possible there could be some scheduling conflicts depending upon if and when the NBA resumes its 2019-20 season. Colangelo admitted that could be a potential issue.
“We will follow the leader. We have to wait to see how everything is laid out and we’ll make the adjustment,” Colangelo said. “Our players are NBA players first, let’s face that. … Changing the window for the NBA is easier said than done. There’s a lot of logistics and contracts to deal with. Same for the Olympics. You have to assume it will be around the same dates.”
Popovich has not yet committed to coaching in the NBA beyond this season, but it makes sense that both he and Colangelo are sticking with Team USA as long as necessary. The coronavirus outbreak has impacted the entire sports calendar. No one could have seen it coming.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are the latest major sporting event to be impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, as the Games will not be held in July as originally scheduled, according to Dick Pound.
Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today’s Christine Brennan on Monday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed. While an exact date has not been set, it will likely be some time in 2021.
“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. It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
In a letter released on Sunday, the IOC acknowledged that it has been preparing for the potential postponement of the Tokyo Games. The committee said a decision would be reached over the next month, but countries have already said they will not send their athletes to Tokyo in time for the originally scheduled July start.
Previous Olympic Games have been canceled during times of war, but the Olympics have never been postponed.
Japan’s number of coronavirus cases is lower than numerous other countries, but people traveling in from all around the world and living in close quarters is a very bad way to contain the spread of a virus. There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding sports with the coronavirus outbreak, and it doesn’t sound like we are going to see any of them resume in the immediate future.
Canada has made a bold statement about the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo.
The Olympics are set to take place later this summer in July and August, but there have been ongoing concerns about the viability of the event due to the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier on Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said they were considering postponing things.
That is what Canada wants.
The Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee issued a statement on Sunday night saying they would refuse to send athletes to the event unless it is postponed until 2021. Here is the statement:
Now that Canada has spoken, expect other countries to follow and put further pressure on Japan and the IOC to make the change.
The International Olympic Committee is finally admitting what seemed obvious: there is a serious chance that the 2020 Summer Olympics will be postponed.
In a letter released Sunday, the IOC admitted that it has begun preparing for scenarios that include postponement of the Tokyo Games. Cancellation is not on the table, and a decision is expected within four weeks.
“The IOC will, in full coordination and partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement,” the letter reads.
Japan’s number of coronavirus cases is lower than numerous other countries, but various people traveling in from all around the world and living in close quarters is a very bad way to contain the spread of a virus. The other issue is gaming out the timing. The Opening Ceremony is scheduled for July 24, which is a full four months away, and organizers will have to make some guesses as to where the pandemic will stand at that point.
There’s a lot of uncertainty over U.S. sports right now. The Olympic situation is even less clear, and this won’t be an easy decision.