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Tokyo 2020: A lot at stake for everyone

Published on June 9th, 2021

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
There’s been nothing easy about navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and for the Olympic Games, the ripple effect is enormous. Just the decision to postpone one year created massive turmoil for athletes and sports organizations.

Critics of World Sailing like to point out how the Federation would have gone into liquidation without financial assistance provided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) following the coronavirus-enforced postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

However, they tend to omit how half of the Olympic federations took the interest-free loan, and that most of the organizations rely heavily on the chunk of cash they receive after each Games, based on the size and popularity of their sport.

What would happen if the Tokyo Games was cancelled? Just one year stretched the finances for athletes and organizations, so it is easy to imagine how the world of sport would be severely altered. While it is easy to criticize the IOC for pushing on, there is a lot at stake for everyone.

Associated Press reporter Stephen Wade shares his view about the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on twitter:

1. IOC senior member Dick Pound said it would take “Armageddon” to stop Tokyo Olympics from opening on July 23 — six weeks. No Armageddon, but drip, drip, drip — medical community keeps warning of the dangers. Who is liable if games become a spreader? IOC? Japanese governments?

2. As many know, athletes must sign a waiver provided by IOC in regard to any fallout from COVID-19. Attempt to absolve IOC and others of responsibility. This is usual for the Olympics, but COVID is a new clause. And remember Tokyo summer heat.

3. Dr. Haruo Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, warned Tuesday (June 8) that cancellation was still an option. “The only viable way (to hold the Olympics) is to make it behind closed doors,” he said. “And the option of cancellation is possible.”

4. Dr. Hiroshi Oshitani, a virologist and government adviser, told the Times of London of the hazards. “The government and the IOC … keep saying they’re holding a safe Olympics. But everybody knows there is a risk. It’s 100% impossible to have an Olympics with zero risk.”

5. No matter what you think about the value/worth of the Olympics, this is driven by IOC need for billions in broadcast rights income. And need for saving face by PM Suga. Official cost of Olympics is $15.4B, maybe twice that. All but $6.7B is public, Japanese taxpayer money.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Sailing Program
Men’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 7
Women’s One Person Dinghy – ILCA 6
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

Original dates: July 24 to August 9, 2020
Revised dates: July 23 to August 8, 2021


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