The 2020 Summer Olympics are set to take place later this summer in Japan, but it now appears that it might not happen this year at all. The International Olympic Committee has maintained for weeks that they have no plans of postponing the event, but they have started to change their tone of late.
On Sunday, the IOC sent out an announcement that there has been some discussion about postponing the 2020 Summer Olympics until 2021 as the whole world is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Olympic Committee ultimately makes the final decision, but several countries are applying plenty of pressure on them of late. Several key athletes have already expressed their desire for the Olympics to take place in 2021, while other athletes have said that they would not attend if the games took place this summer.
Canada and Australia added even more pressure on the International Olympic Committee this weekend. Canada’s Olympic committee informed the IOC that their athletes would not be attending the Summer Olympics if they took place.
Australia’s Olympic Committee has told their athletes to prepare and train for the event to take place in 2021, in hopes that the IOC will issue a postponement.
Even though government leaders in Japan don’t have any say in the final decision, they have started to speak out as well. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that the country favors postponing the event until 2021 rather than hosting the event without all of the countries participating.
The 2020 Summer Olympics were not the only major sporting event scheduled to take place this year. The Euro 2020 Soccer Tournament was supposed to take place this summer as well, but that has already been postponed to 2021.
Even though losing out on the Olympics would pose some economic hardships to the country of Japan, losing Euro 2020 is a huge blow for those countries.
Sportsbooks will also miss out on a big chance to make some money if they lose the 2020 Summer Olympics as well.
Olympic Flame Arrives in Japan
The carrying of the Olympic torch is one of the most iconic traditions in all of sports, but that tradition has been largely ignored this year. The torch has still been making its way to the country of Japan, but there hasn’t been much news coverage of the event.
The Olympic flame made its way to Japan just a few days ago, but there wasn’t anyone there to greet its arrival. There is usually a huge ceremony that takes place when this event happens in the host country, but the fear of the coronavirus has canceled all large gatherings of people.
Most experts continue to agree that the 2020 Summer Olympics should be postponed until 2021 at the earliest, but it appears that the country of Japan is in denial. Japan has been planning and preparing for the Summer Olympics for close to 10 years, and they have spent billions of dollars in their preparations.
Japan officials have stated that they will spend a total of $12.6 billion to host the Summer Olympics, but that figure could be much higher. If the games are pushed back another year, it would likely cost Japan a few extra billion dollars.
A postponement would also mean that Japan has some extra time to prepare, and they could put on an event that is remembered forever. The Olympics brings the entire world together every four years, and it would be more memorable after the world has been able to battle its way through the difficult coronavirus pandemic.