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A man stands in front of a countdown display for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, Monday. Photo: AP/Jae C Hong
2020 tokyo olympics

All signs point to Tokyo Olympics being postponed


IOC members, national Olympic committees and athletes were all racing toward the same conclusion Monday: The Tokyo Olympics are not going to take place this summer.

Craig Reedie, a longtime member of the International Olympic Committee, told The Associated Press that everyone can see where things are headed, with the coronavirus pandemic spreading and Olympic hopefuls around the world unable to train.

"In the balance of probabilities, the information known about conditions in Japan and the COVID-19's effect on the rest of world clearly indicates the likelihood of postponement,” Reedie said. “The length of postponement is the major challenge for the IOC.”

Earlier in the day, IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that he had reached the same conclusion about the games, which are scheduled to start July 24. A tweet put out by the newspaper read: “The 2020 Summer Olympics Have Been Postponed Over Coronavirus Concerns.”

The IOC said no decision had been made, and Reedie was quick to acknowledge that he was speaking only for himself and not because of any insight provided to him by IOC president Thomas Bach, who will guide the final decision. Pound did not return a message left by AP. Earlier in the day, after Pound’s pronouncement, an IOC spokesman said, “It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC (executive board) from Sunday.”

Indeed, the interpretations and opinions are just that and haven’t always been spot-on. Last month, Pound told AP that cancellation, not postponement, was the only real option if the Tokyo Games couldn’t start on time.

But a lot has changed since then, and the rapid momentum of the “postpone” movement among athletes and nations seemed to diminish the likelihood that it will take all of four weeks for the IOC to reach a conclusion. That was the timeline the IOC's executive committee decided on Sunday when it announced it was putting together working groups to study the massive logistical issues involved in postponing the games.

Among those issues include the availability of venues in Japan, the disruption to the international sports calendar during whatever new date is chosen, the resetting of qualifying procedures, and insurance considerations; both the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee hold massive policies, the legalese of which will take time to unwind.

After that IOC announcement, however, both Canada and Australia — whose senior Olympic official is IOC member John Coates, the leader of the Tokyo inspection team — sent word that they would not or could not send teams to Japan for an Olympics that start in July.

"I know this is heartbreaking for so many people — athletes, coaches, staff and fans — but this was absolutely the right call, and everyone should follow their lead,” Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said.

Other key delegations that have pushed for a postponement include World Athletics, the international federation for the centerpiece sport of the Olympics, along with Olympic committees in Brazil, Slovenia and Germany. USA Swimming and USA Track and Field, which combine to form about a third of the U.S. team, also want a new date.

Athletes also grew louder in their request for postponement. A track group called The Athletics Association joined another athlete group, Global Athlete, in pressing the IOC to act.

The track group is led by two-time Olympic champion Christian Taylor of the U.S., who said more than 4,000 track and field athletes responded to a survey, and 87% said their training had been adversely affected by the coronavirus.

Individual athletes continued to speak out as well.

“Although I am upset that the Olympics will not be happening this year, I agree that this is the best decision in order to keep the athletes and spectators healthy and to prevent the virus from spreading further,” U.S. gymnast Morgan Hurd said in a tweet, reacting to Pound’s comments.

And while saying it's a done deal might be jumping the gun, it feels inevitable the announcement will come.

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It took awhile but the inevitable delay is at hand.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Good, about time, Inept Olympic Committee

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Old news for Japan

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

At what point during this week are they going to finally go on the record as one (IOC) and officially declare their decision and plan of action? And if they do, will they finally stop the build up to the torch relay?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Feel sorry for the 12000+ touch bearers. Every prefecture. The fire should never of landed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All signs point to Tokyo Olympics being postponed

DUH!!! Took them long enough.

NOW can we please see the real numbers of infected people by getting down to some real testing??

7 ( +8 / -1 )

DO IT NOW !!.. TOKYO 2021 !!..

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All signs point to Tokyo Olympics being postponed

The only sane and sensible decision. Announce it now. Put the athletes and the people of Japan out of their misery.

Tokyo 2021!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

An IOC member just said its on in 2021. Abe will be trying to extend his term, legally or not.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Now that the Olympic is postponed, please start coronavirus testing at full scale.

I can't bear to see Japan turning to another Italy..

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Great, best this is postponed officially. There will be disappointments but this is for the greater good.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

a wise choice, but watch the government carefully once this decision is finalized... testing levels will go up, the number of infected confined will sky-rocket, and they’ll start locking down like everywhere else. The playing down and avoiding the reality has been in part to Keep the Olympics in playZ now that they are in the out, we’ll start seeing priorities shift.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The signs were always there, Abe and cronies just needed a message from their American masters to open their eyes and see them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese do control their own Olympic, outside forces boss Japanese official, who payed the bills

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

This explains why the sudden appearance of Koike who has been in hiding for months.

Koike urges cooperation to avoid Tokyo lockdown's-capital-urges-cooperation-to-avoid-city-lockdown

She is trying to salvage her reputation. At least for her, the attention has gone away from her losing the marathon to Hokkaido. She blame everything on the pandemic!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This isn't a "maybe" (as the Japanese press had erroneously been reporting); this is a fact. The Olympics have been postponed.

Abe and cronies don't get to make a decision, because the IOC has already decided.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I suggested couple of weeks ago on another news source regarding Tokyo Olympics to postpone one year. It now seems to be what I had suggested. Currently, there is a drug Hydroxy Chloroquine that shows promising signs for COVID 19 and until such time that a vaccine can be discovered, this is a good alternative drug which is FDA approved. I predict by summer, most of the spread of COVID 19 will slow down and recovery stage will begin to take place. One year is a good idea to postpone. It will be just what the world need to celebrate together after this horrific pandemic crisis. And what a great place to do this in.....Tokyo. All the best to Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All signs? The decision has already been made. It’s only the logistics that remain.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I suggested couple of weeks ago on another news source regarding Tokyo Olympics to postpone one year. It now seems to be what I had suggested.

Clearly the Olympic organizers must have read your post.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Tokyo Games postponement appears inevitable as countries grow impatient with IOC

Invalid CSRF

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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