olympics

No Tokyo Olympics likely means no Beijing Winter Games either, says Pound

15 Comments
By Steve Keating

If the postponed Tokyo Olympics do not go ahead next year due to COVID-19 then the 2022 Beijing Winter Games will likely also fall victim to the pandemic, said long-time International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

If there is no vaccine and countries are unable to contain the pandemic that continues to rage in different regions of the world, killing more than 580,000 people, then the IOC could once again be forced to postpone or cancel the Tokyo Olympics.

This would most likely trigger a knock-on effect taking out the Beijing Games as well, Pound said. The Beijing Winter Olympics are scheduled for Feb 4 to 20, 2022, just six months after the Tokyo Summer Games, which are now set to be held from July 23 to Aug 8, 2021 after being pushed back a year by the novel coronavirus outbreak.

"Taking the political side out of it for the moment say there is a COVID problem in July and August next year in Tokyo, it is hard to imagine there is not going to be a knock-on effect in the same area five months later," Pound told Reuters in a phone interview.

The Beijing Olympics could be further complicated by a number of political showdowns, including an increasingly unstable and volatile situation in Hong Kong and an American election that could see U.S./China relations as one of the main issues.

U.S. President Donald Trump has labelled the pandemic the "China virus" and blamed the country for the outbreak that first emerged from the Chinese city of Wuhan.

For months, Trump has maintained China must be “held accountable” for failing to contain the disease.

Pound, a Canadian lawyer who has served as both an IOC vice-president and head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), speculated that any number of scenarios could arise.

These included one where the threat is not so much of a U.S. boycott of the Games, but one where China might consider barring the U.S. from taking part if the country cannot gain control over the virus.

"At least one part of the U.S. is planning an election campaign which is all anti-China," said Pound.

"If you are a conspiracy theorist, you might say well, the WHO is strongly influenced by China and they could probably without smirking too much go to a WHO meeting, from which the U.S. will no longer be associated, and say this isn't positive health.

"There could be the largest number of cases in the world (in the U.S.) and it would be dangerous having Americans coming to China.

"That is an extreme supposition. There are all kinds of crazy things that could happen."

Pound underscored that at the moment the Tokyo Summer Olympics have the IOC's complete attention, but added that by the end of the year Beijing will also be on their radar.

"It (China) will certainly not be discussed at the next IOC session we have on Friday," said Pound. "It is mostly reports and concerns about how we are dealing with Tokyo.

"Beijing is really not on the table at the moment and I think it would be an unnecessarily complicated thing to bring that in because we simply do not know about it yet."

© Thomson Reuters 2020.

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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If the postponed Tokyo Olympics do not go ahead next year due to COVID-19 then the 2022 Beijing Winter Games will likely also fall victim to the pandemic, said long-time International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

Yeah, they see the writing on the wall.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Tokyo will go ahead but it is likely the Beijing winterlandschap will be boycotted by the USA and an important number of other countries but even if IOC pulls the Games emperor Xi will organize alternative games to save face. China and North Korea will compete in those.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

No Beijing Olympics? Bonus!!!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Yeah, they see the writing on the wall.

of course.

No Beijing Olympics? Bonus!!!

absolutely!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Beijing should have the games pulled or boycotted because of their behaving HK, the South China Sea, East China Sea and Taiwan.

they are free-riders in the West and it’s time for that ride to come to an end.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

If Disney can open I am sure the Olympics can be held in a safe manner.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

China seems safer than Japan right now. They're definitely dealt with coronavirus better than the Japanese ever could.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Yes, Dick Pound is hard on the facts

3 ( +4 / -1 )

One can hope.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Graham, you forgot the Uighur genocide underway also. I know it is hard to remember it all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

China will reap what they sowed

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Whether the virus comes under control or not, Beijing should be stripped of the Olympics as a punishment for the economic havoc the CCP and their virus have created.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Whether the virus comes under control or not, Beijing should be stripped of the Olympics as a punishment for the economic havoc the CCP and their virus have created.

If we punish the CCP for being where the virus started, how do we punish the US for being where the virus has thrived and been fostered?

You're opening up a big can of worms with your calls for punishment for being victims of a virus.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If Tokyo has to cancel the olympics while Beijing gets to have theirs there will be huge outrage!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Don't be too hard on Dick Pound, he just needs to clarify what measures can be taken and safely pound home the message into the Chinese to avoid any premature explosions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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