Mar 24 2020

Well, this was inevitable.

I’ve worked events like this and it costs an enormous amount of money to postpone them.

At the same time who would want to go or participate? I’ll admit getting to hit on Gymnasts is an attraction.

Japanese prime minister says IOC has agreed to postpone Tokyo Olympics
By Adam Kilgore, Rick Maese, and Simon Denyer, Washington Post
March 24, 2020

Facing heavy global pressure and rising athlete dissent, the International Olympic Committee sharply reversed course Tuesday and agreed with Japanese officials that the Olympics and Paralympics will not take place this summer in Tokyo in the wake of the growing novel coronavirus pandemic. Organizers say they now hope to stage the Games by the summer of 2021.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday proposed a one-year postponement to IOC leadership, including President Thomas Bach. The IOC quickly agreed the Games would be held about one year after the previously scheduled start date, July 24.

“I have made a proposal of about a year,” Abe said. “President Bach said he agreed 100 percent and we agreed to hold the Olympics by summer 2021.”

Abe said he and Bach had agreed “to cooperate in order to hold the Olympics in the complete form, as a testament to victory over the infection.”

In a joint statement, the IOC and Japan’s Olympic organizing committee said they made the decision “to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.” Athletes across the world had been calling for the Olympics to be postponed, saying the lack of a decision forced them to continue training at risk to their physical and mental well-being.

“In light of the current conditions and for all the athletes, we made a proposal of a postponement of about a year, to hold them securely and safely,” Abe said Tuesday.

Postponing the Games carries massive political, financial and competitive implications. Abe, who had staked extensive political fortune to the success of the Games, said he expects Japan will pull them off.

“As the host country, Japan would like to serve our responsibility thoroughly,” Abe said.

Sunday, IOC President Thomas Bach said it “would still be premature” to decide the fate the Tokyo Games, and as other major sports events and leagues have suspended operations and canceled play, Olympic officials had resisted the call to alter its schedule. They spent the past several weeks weighing options, as athletes and sports federations began voicing their concerns. The chorus only grew after Bach sent a letter to Olympic athletes Sunday, acknowledging for the first time that postponement was a possibility but refusing to make a decision for the next four weeks.

The Canadian Olympic Committee said Sunday it would not send its athletes to compete in Tokyo this summer, delivering a devastating blow to the IOC’s hopes to stick to its schedule. Australia’s national committee also urged its athletes to begin preparing for an Olympics in 2021, and Sebastian Coe, the influential head of World Athletics, the international governing body for track and field, called on the IOC to delay the Summer Games by a year. The national Olympic committees of Brazil and Slovenia had called for a one-year postponement, and Norway had balked at sending its athletes to Japan with the current state of the pandemic.

The IOC’s stunning decision is without precedent. While an Olympics has never been postponed, several have taken place later on the calendar, including the 2000 Sydney and 1988 Seoul Games, which both took place in late September, and the 1964 Tokyo and the 1968 Mexico City Games, which took place in October. The modern Olympics, which date to 1896, have been canceled three times (1916, 1940 and 1944) because of world wars.

The bulk of the rest of the piece is a discussion of how much money is involved with a bit of insight into the decision making process.