Coronavirus Possibly Cancelling 2020 Tokyo Olympics

One of the longest to serve on the International Olympic Committee, Dick Pound, believes there is a window of three months to determine whether the Tokyo Olympics will be impacted by the fast-spreading Coronavirus

In an interview with the Associated Press, Pound did not try to trigger any alarms but was honest about the risks that the Olympics could be facing when it opens on the 24th of July. Pound has been a member of the International Olympic Committee since 1978, which is more than twelve years longer than its current president.

In his comments to the Associated Press, Pound stated; “You could certainly go to two months out if you had to. A lot of things have to start happening. You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios, and if it got to the point of not going ahead, you’re probably looking at a cancellation.”

Pound continued his comments revealing that in his opinion, this is like a new war and you have to just face it before adding; “In and around that time, I’d say, folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?'”

China reports over 500 new cases

On Tuesday of this week, China reported 71 additional deaths from the virus and an additional 508 new cases, which all occurred in Wuhan, the city where the epidemic was first found. The new updates puts the number of total infected to 77,658 in mainland China of which 2,663 resulted in death. The second most recent increase has come from South Korea, which has reported 977 cases and 10 deaths. However, there are other areas in the world where increases are being seen. This includes Europe and the Middle East, and that could indicate that the virus is spreading to other parts of the world.

Pound is encouraging athletes, of which 11,000 are expected to attend the Olympics, to continue their training regimes. In addition to the athletes attending the main Olympic Games, there are 4,400 who will be arriving in August for the Paralympics in August. The Olympics, which date back to 1896, have only ever been cancelled during wars but have dealt with several boycotts, one in 1976 during the Montreal Olympics, once during the 1980 Moscow Olympics and finally, the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984. The last time the Olympics were to be held in Japan was in 1940 but were cancelled to the Second World War.


Comments are closed.