Postpone Tokyo 2020 for the athletes

Published on March 23rd, 2020

by Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, CA (March 23, 2020) – Through this global crisis, while the novel coronavirus continues to change the way millions of people think and behave, the International Olympic Committee has remained unshakably constant to its twisted version of noble principles.

The inspirational Olympic motto, “Faster, Higher, Stronger,” has a different meaning to those who sit in lush ivory tower isolation by arrogant choice and not by medical directive.

Faster means how rapidly they can rake in revenues from the Games. Higher means they’ve placed themselves so far above the athletes whose achievements they showcase that they are oblivious to the reality that lives and training schedules have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak. Stronger refers to their stubborn and self-centered plan, as stated yesterday by IOC President Thomas Bach, to take as long as four weeks before deciding whether to proceed with the Tokyo Summer Games on their scheduled dates of July 24 through August 9.

There’s no need to wait. The plug must be pulled on these Games, and the sooner the better.

Canada knows it: It’s Olympic and Paralympic Committee said yesterday that it will not send a delegation to Tokyo if the IOC decrees that the Games will be staged on the current dates. “Postpone today. Conquer tomorrow,” is Team Canada’s new motto.

“This is not solely about athlete health — it is about public health,” the committee said in a statement. “With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.”

Australia knows it: The Aussies have told their athletes to prepare for the Olympics to be held next year. “It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July,” Ian Chesterman, Australia’s chef de mission said today. “Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them.”

USA Track and Field, USA Swimming, the World Athletics federation, the Olympic committees of Norway, Brazil, Slovenia and Germany all know it: Given the current state of the pandemic, putting athletes, coaches, fans, volunteers and officials together in close quarters would pose a risk no one needs to take.

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

The sooner postponement is announced, the sooner athletes can recalibrate their training and their dreams. The sooner postponement is announced, the sooner there’s a target for renewed hope, something to focus on and joyfully anticipate. Full report.

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