IOC Member: More likely a cancellation than a postponement of the Olympics

IOC member Dick Pound said that if the organizers consider the Tokyo Olympics dangerous due to coronavirus, they are more likely to cancel it than delay it

Source: B92
Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images
Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images

Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion estimated there is a three-month window to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May, he said in an exclusive interview with The Associated Press.

“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’”, Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion said.

As the Games draw near, he said, “A lot of things have to start happening. You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there, building their studios.”

If the IOC decides the games cannot go forward as scheduled in Tokyo, “you’re probably looking at a cancellation”, he said.

Pound repeated the IOC’s stance – that it is relying on consultations with the World Health Organization, a United Nations body, to make any move.

As for the possibility of postponement, he said: “You just don’t postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics”.

Pound said moving to another city also seems unlikely “because there are few places in the world that could think of gearing up facilities in that short time to put something on”.

He also cast doubt on the possibility of a one-year delay. “Then, of course, you have to fit all of this into the entire international sports schedule", Pound concluded.

Pound said the IOC has been building up an emergency fund, reported to be about $1 billion, for unforeseen circumstances to help the IOC and the international sports federations that depend on income from the IOC.

The Olympics are set to open on July 24 with 11.000 athletes. The Paralympics open on August 25, with 4.400 athletes.

The modern Olympics, which date to 1896, have been canceled only during wartime.

The Olympics in 1940 were supposed to be in Tokyo but were called off because of Japan’s war with China and World War II.

The Rio Games in Brazil went on as scheduled in 2016 despite the outbreak of the Zika virus.


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