The 2020 edition of the Olympics is in trouble. The Internation Olympic Committee (IOC) may have to delay the event to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Olympic Committees and athletes the world over are pressuring them to do the same.
Countries Putting Their Foot Down (Olympics 2020)
Canada was the first to do so, with Australia following soon after. The Canadian Olympic Committee explained why they would be doing so in a statement. “It runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow,” they said.
“While we recognise the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” they added further.
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) echoed these sentiments. Matt Carroll, the AOC’s chief executive, had this to say regarding the matter.
“We have athletes based overseas, training at central locations around Australia as teams and managing their own programs. With travel and other restrictions, this becomes an untenable situation. The IOC had adopted the key principles of putting athlete health first and ensuring it acted in their best interests and the interests of the sport. This decision reflects those principles.”
Others Ready To Do The Same (Olympics 2020)
The New Zealand Olympic Committee and the British Olympic Committee have strongly hinted that they will follow suit, too. New Zealand’s committee president Mike Stanley published an open letter underlining the delay’s necessity. “Athletes need a safe, and fair, playing field to compete and, right now, the widespread and evolving impact of COVID-19 is not allowing that to happen,” it reads.
Some athletes are adding their voices, calling for the IOC to come to an immediate decision. British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith said in a tweet that she does not want athletes to have to risk those around them.
Japanese PM Admits Delay Likely
Even Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had to concede the fact that the Olympics may have to be delayed. This despite insisting that a delay the timings of the Olympics would not be changed. He said in parliament that they may have to consider this scenario if they could not hold the event in its complete form.
As of right now, the IOC has scheduled for the Olympics to begin on July 24, 2020.