The coronavirus is threatening the status of this year’s Olympic games, as a member of the International Olympic Committee said earlier today that it’s more likely organizers will cancel the event rather than move it if the deadly outbreak proves too dangerous.
“Dick Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion who has been on the IOC since 1978, making him its longest-serving member, estimated there is a three-month window — perhaps a two-month one — to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, meaning a decision could be put off until late May,” the Associated Press states. Pond reportedly told the publication, “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?’”
Still, the IOC member encourages athletes to continue training… “As far as we all know, you’re going to be in Tokyo,” he told the outlet. “All indications are at this stage that it will be business as usual. So keep focused on your sport and be sure that the IOC is not going to send you into a pandemic situation.”
According to the site, the International Olympic Committee will rely on consultations with the World Health Organization when making its decision. “You just don’t postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics. There’s so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons. You can’t just say, `We’ll do it in October,'” Pound explained, adding that moving the event to another city is also unlikely “because there are few places in the world that could think of gearing up facilities in that short time to put something on.”
We’ll continue to keep you updated.