Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers have reportedly begun planning for potential delay


The 2020 Tokyo Olympics organizers have begun planning for a potential delay to the games this summer, according to a report from Reuters. With the coronavirus global pandemic, concern over whether the Olympics should start on time has been a significant topic of discussion among organizers and officials from all over the world. 

The 2020 Summer Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 24 to Aug. 9 in Tokyo. At this moment, neither the Japanese government nor the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have publicly said that there are plans for a postponement. 

Here’s more from Reuters:

“Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the scenarios. 

“We are making alternative plans – plan B, C, D – looking at different postponement time-frames,” said the official, adding the scenarios included cost estimates for different delays. 

The options, which include scaling back the Games or holding them without spectators, would be debated by the organizing committee at the end of March, the official said. 

The second source, who is also close to the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, confirmed that postponement was being discussed, including delays of one or two years.

The flame-lighting for the 2020 Olympics took place in Greece during a closed ceremony last Thursday at the Temple of Hera in Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games. But, the torch relay through Greece that was scheduled for Friday was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Last Thursday, Italian sports officials made a desperate plea to the International Olympics Committee to reconsider moving forward with the Tokyo Games as scheduled. Meanwhile, the USA Track and Field and USA Swimming federations have already both called for this summer’s 2020 Olympics in Tokyo to be delayed because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Nearly three-quarters of the 125 athletes who participated in a town hall on Saturday with the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee support the postponement of this summer’s Tokyo Games, according to USA Today. Seventy percent of the US athletes said they supported a postponement, with an additional 23 percent saying it would depend on the consequences, USA Today adds.

The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruptions, including cancellations and suspensions, to the global sports calendar. Many Olympic qualifiers have been postponed due to the growing concern of COVID-19.

CBS News has the latest updates about the virus, which has affected various sports globally and in the United States and more than 13,000 people worldwide have died due to the virus. 

Here at CBS Sports, we have running updates on how sports leagues are responding to coronavirus.





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