It might be 2021 or by no means for the Tokyo Olympics.
Dick Pound, Canada’s longtime Worldwide Olympic Committee (IOC) member, mentioned he does not foresee having the ability to delay the Tokyo Video games by one other yr.
“The Japanese have mentioned we are able to maintain the ball up within the air for a yr, however not longer than a yr,” Pound mentioned in an interview with CBC Sports activities’ Scott Russell on Friday. “We actually should hope that we get this act collectively in time for 2021.”
Pound, 78, broached the thought of postponement as a result of coronavirus pandemic a day earlier than the change was made official on March 24. The Tokyo Olympics at the moment are scheduled to run from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.
The Japanese Organizing Committee (JOC) is the perfect he is seen, Pound mentioned Friday, and was thus ready for all of the fallout attributable to postponement. Now, the St. Catharines, Ont., native is hoping the rescheduled Olympics may turn into a flashbulb second in a post-pandemic world.
“[The JOC] says, ‘It is essential to us and sure, we expect we are able to do this.’ Then by all means sure, let’s give the youngsters an opportunity, let’s give the world an opportunity to climate this storm,” Pound mentioned. “Come again and you’ll emerge from an existential risk to humanity with this big gathering of the youth of the world.”
As a lot of the world enforces strict bodily distancing pointers, and as skilled sports activities ponder maintain occasions with as few as two athletes, the thought of 11,00zero athletes across the globe congregating in a single place appears practically unimaginable.
However Pound says the universality of the Olympics is what makes the occasion so nice.
“It is a actually intricate tapestry while you have a look at all of the association,” Pound mentioned. “However that mentioned, that is the massive profit of getting an occasion that is not only a sequence of world championships introduced collectively in a tv studio. It is the individuals reacting with individuals that basically issues.”
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Pound competed within the 1960 Olympics in Rome as a swimmer, the place he positioned sixth within the 100-metre freestyle. He mentioned it was his expertise there — having the ability to meet individuals outdoors of his personal sport and his personal nation — that sparked his lifelong Olympic ardour.
And so he had a message for as we speak’s athletes, now pressured to attend one other 12 months for his or her doubtlessly life-altering expertise.
“Grasp in there. We’re attempting to protect that have for you. It is postponed a bit however you are resilient. If you happen to’re an athlete, you be taught much more out of your setbacks than you do out of your wins,” Pound mentioned.
“Everyone on the earth hopes that this occasion will be put again collectively a yr later and the world may have an opportunity to see you in motion. You may have an opportunity to do your finest and all people will be ok with the end result.”
Monetary value of postponement
Past the athletes, the monetary reverberations of Olympics’ postponement might be felt all through the world.
“I believe what we’re prone to discover, considerably to our horror, is that lots of the [international sport federations] are so depending on their share of the Olympic revenues that they actually cannot keep it up on the degree they’re doing now, or wish to do, with out making some adjustments,” Pound mentioned.
The IOC will consider every sporting physique to find out which can profit most from revenue-sharing from the guardian committee, he mentioned.
There are additionally alternate options for the Olympics that the IOC is contemplating to chop prices, Pound mentioned, although the thought of single-site Video games — akin to inserting the Summer season Olympics completely in Greece — stays unlikely.
“It is fully impractical and the Video games are so common now that they don’t seem to be Greek Video games — they belong to the world,” he mentioned. “And it is very arduous to say to the entire remainder of the world, ‘Sorry, you are simply out of luck. Do not even take into consideration making use of to be host.'”
As an alternative, a number of the so-called frills of the Olympics, whose worth could not match value, are being examined. “It is critical however not deadly,” Pound mentioned of the monetary fallout.
“From the attitude of the Olympic motion, there is a potential lack of income and potential improve within the prices. However frankly, that is value it if we are able to get these Video games on one yr later than scheduled.”