Tokyo 2020: Bring on the facemasks

Published on February 26th, 2020

Right now, it sucks to be Tokyo.

After being selected by the Japanese Olympic Committee in 2011 as the nation’s bidding city for the 2020 Games, after being selected by the International Olympic Committee in 2013 to host the 2020 Games, and after reportedly spending US$25 billion as the host, it is all now teetering amid an international virus outbreak.

When a senior IOC member said the fate of the 2020 Games would probably be decided in the next three months, Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto abruptly called a news conference to avert fears of a cancellation.

“Our basic thoughts are that we will go ahead with the Olympic and Paralympic Games as scheduled,” Muto said, speaking in Japanese. “For the time being, the situation of the coronavirus infection is, admittedly, difficult to predict, but we will take measures such that we’ll have a safe Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 80,000 people and killed more than 2,700 globally. China has reported 2,715 deaths among 78,064 cases on the mainland. Five deaths in Japan have been attributed to the virus and the COVID-19 illness it causes.

While the IOC has repeatedly said the Tokyo Games will go ahead, it also said it is following the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency. It was on January 30 when the WHO declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The latest sport’s casualty due to the virus is the postponement of the 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships which were due to take place March 22-29 in Busan, South Korean.

However, if it was deemed unsafe for Tokyo to host the Olympics during the planned dates of July 24 – August 9, former International Olympic Committee vice president Dick Pound said the only option would be to cancel the event.

“You just don’t postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympic,” counseled Pound. “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.”

Like we said, it sucks to be Tokyo right now. Standing by for encouraging news.


TOKYO 2020 Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – Laser
Women’s One Person Dinghy – Laser Radial
Men’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Women’s Two Person Dinghy – 470
Men’s Skiff – 49er
Women’s Skiff – 49erFx
Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy – Finn
Men’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Women’s Windsurfing – RS:X
Mixed Multihull – Nacra 17

Olympic schedule: July 24 – Aug 9
Sailing schedule: July 26 – Aug 6
Details: https://tokyo2020.org/en/games/schedule/olympic/

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