On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee first recognized the possibility that the 2020 Olympics might have to be postponed. By Monday night, the committee had announced that the Games, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, had been officially postponed.
The postponement is due to the spreading coronavirus and the pandemic that is shutting down sports and normal life in all parts of the world.
This is the first time that the Olympics have been postponed or canceled for something other than war. There have been years where countries have withheld their athletes for various political reasons, but the games have continued to be played.
The IOC finally decided that postponing the summer event was the best course of action.
The Opening Ceremony for the 2020 Summer Olympics was to take place on July 24, with the games beginning after that. The IOC did not set a new date for the games but did announce that they would take place no later than the summer of 2021.
Despite being pushed back a calendar year, the games will still be called the 2020 Summer Olympics, and Japan will remain the host country.
The Japanese government continued to state that the games could go on as scheduled, but they eventually changed course on Monday afternoon as well. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a formal request to members of the IOC to postpone the games in hopes of getting better participation from countries around the world.
Canada and Australia were two of the main countries that put pressure on the IOC to rethink their initial decision and delay the games. Canada announced over the weekend that their athletes would not be attending the summer games if they were held as scheduled.
Australia sent out a memo to their athletes telling them to prepare for the games to take place in 2021, rather than in 2020. Poland and Germany also submitted official requests asking for the games to be delayed.
The postponing of the Olympic Games will have a major financial impact on the country of Japan. Japan has stated that it has spent an estimated $12.6 billion in preparation for the games, but financial experts are estimating that it has spent closer to $25 billion.
Sponsors and television networks will also see a huge financial impact of pushing the games back another year.
Golf Calendar Will Be Affected
While the postponing of the 2020 Summer Olympics will have many negative impacts, there are some positives when it comes to the sport of golf. The PGA Tour has had to postpone several major events already, most notably the Masters Tournament.
These events will need to be made up when it is safe to resume playing golf. Having the Olympics taken off of the schedule will allow some extra time for the PGA Tour to reschedule some of their main events.
The Ryder Cup is also set to take place this year, and that is one event that will not be postponed or canceled. The Ryder Cup is set to take place on September 25-27, in Haven, Wisc.
There is now hope that the PGA Tour will be able to squeeze in all four of their Major Tournaments before Ryder Cup play begins.
Moving the Olympics to 2021 will also allow for more of the top golfers in the world to play in the event.
This was set to be a loaded year in terms of big golf tournaments, and some of the top players in the game were going to choose to skip the Olympics in favor of more prestigious PGA events.