【COVID-19】Tokyo 2020 postponed due to the epidemic

Despite all the attempt to keep the number of infection low and emphasize on how safe the country is, Tokyo 2020 is postponed until next year.

Previous article, we mentioned that the Japanese government was still attempting to continue Tokyo 2020. However, on Tuesday, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, announced that the Tokyo Olympic are to be postponed until 2021. The international Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach said that the decision is inevitable due to the current situation.

According to Los Angeles Times, the reason why IOC reconsider rescheduling the game is because “COVID-19 was surging across Africa. Bach told the reporters that ““This was a big worry for me, personally [because] with the challenges many countries in Africa have to face already now, this would be a very dramatic development which would not only affect Africa but would affect the entire world”.

According to the Guardian, Abe told reporters that the IOC and him agreed that “a postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators.”

The same articles mentioned a joint statement between the IOC and the Tokyo 202 Organising Committee that said “the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community. The Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will continue to be called the ‘Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020’ even when they are held next year, and the Olympic flame will stay in Japan ‘as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times’”.

In a New York Times article, the author pointed out that the postponement risks scheduling clashes with the world championship events of two of the biggest Olympic sports, track and field and swimming.

In response to that, according to the article, “Track and field’s World Athletics Championships are scheduled to begin Aug. 6, 2021, in Eugene, Oregon, and in a statement, World Athletics said it was already working to ‘ensure that Oregon is able to host the World Athletics Championships on alternative dates, should that prove necessary’ […] The world championships of swimming are scheduled to start July 16, 2021, in Fukuoka, Japan. FINA, the sport’s governing body, said in a statement that it plans to work with the Japanese Swimming Federation and public officials there ‘in order to determine flexibility around the dates of the competition, if necessary and in agreement with the I.O.C’”.

Economic consequences

Both article pointed out that the postponement will cost both the city and the IOC a fortune. In the Guardian, the writer mentioned that “the host country has spent more than $12 billion USD on the event, while the huge sums are at stake for sponsors and broadcasters”. Goldman Sachs estimated this month that “Japan would lose $4.5bn (550bn yen) in inbound and domestic consumption in 2020 if the Olympics did not take place as planned”.

On the other hand, the New York Times said that The IOC could also face some financial costs because the summer games are the organization’s significant source of income, “money that it distributes to dozens of sports federations and more than 200 national Olympic bodies. A year’s delay could put those payments in doubt, given that broadcasters, notably NBC, which make up the bulk of its revenue, pay most of their fees close to the start of the Games”.

Despite the disappointment from the athletes, most of the people are still glad that the government is doing what needs to be done for the health of the people.