Although the Coronavirus pandemic has led to the shutdown of several sporting activities and the postponement of major sporting tournaments, it might not have any effect on the Olympics.
The Olympics organizers are adamant that there is a need to shift the pre-planned date of the tournament. The World Athletics Chief, Sebastian Coe doesn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a later shift but insists it’s still too early to reschedule the tournament.
The 2020 Olympics to be hosted by Tokyo, Japan is slated to kick off on the 24th of July. Coe in an interview with BBC Sport said: “Let’s not make a precipitous decision when we don’t have to four months out. “If you had to ease that date, you’d have to ease it. Anything is possible.”
Coe reflecting on the challenges posed by the pandemic had a conference with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president, Thomas Bach, to discuss the worrying issue.
In an interview with the Ticket, Coe made it clear that the committee wasn’t announcing any shifts at the moment since the tournament is still four months away. He maintains that some challenges might come up towards the start of the tournament but that as it stands, they aren’t forced into making any decisions.
“The overwhelming view was not that we’re saying we go ‘come what may’, that’s clearly not what’s being said, what sport is really saying I guess is that we don’t have to make a precipitous decision now with four months to go.”
The IOC has faced huge criticisms for not developing any contingency plan should the games not kick off on the 24th of July as earlier planned. While Coe isn’t a member of the IOC itself, he remains the head of the Olympics most high-profile sport.
In response to those critics, Coe suggests that there are contingency plans put in place and that the program would not for any reason put the athletes under dangerous or risky situations. He reiterates that his primary focus is on the welfare and safety of the participating athletes. He said he is also committed to keeping the business model of the sport safe.
Written by: Roland Arum