Published: Fri, March 27, 2020
Markets | By Otis Pena

IOC Targeting July-August 2021 For Rescheduled Olympics

IOC Targeting July-August 2021 For Rescheduled Olympics

The dramatic step to shift the Olympics, never before seen in peacetime, after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese government finally succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world upends every aspect of the organisation - including venues, security, ticketing and accommodation.

"Thomas Bach (the IOC President) first explained the reasons for the postponement of the Games, then said that the athletes qualified for Tokyo 2020 would automatically be qualified for 2021", one of the participants in the conference told AFP.

The Olympic torch had already arrived in Japan and was being taken around areas of Japan struck by the tsunami and quake in 2011, when Nahomi Kawasumi, a well-known women's soccer player selected to run in the relay, pulled out.

In December, the committee said the Olympic budget would be 1.35 trillion yen, of which the committee and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government would each pay 600 billion yen with the remaining 150 billion yen provided by the national government.

However, there is no definite date yet for the rescheduled Games with Bach saying Tuesday the Tokyo Olympics "must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the global community". They must put the Olympics back together after they were torn apart by the coronavirus pandemic.

"Additional expenses are going to be quite massive we assume", Muto said.

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USA athletes in the major sports of athletics, swimming and gymnastics had more clarity with their national federations announcing Olympic trials would now be held in 2021.

Reuters reports that the athletics (track & field) federation has said its World Championships could be moved to 2022 if necessary.

In the days leading up to the decision, organizers of the Games were under pressure from major players in global sports: sponsors wanting updates on event plans, powerful sports federations anxious about athlete safety, and Japanese officials seeking to maintain a united front to support the 2020 Games. "It (was) important to get the Japanese to understand this was a realistic possibility".

The Olympic torch relay, due to begin from Fukushima Thursday, has also been postponed but the flame will stay in the area until it is safe to begin.

During the 45-minute conversation, which also involved Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Tokyo Olympic Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori, Abe and Bach mutually confirmed that they have no intention of canceling the Tokyo Olympics outright, only to delay their opening. But I was saved by a new drug. "Let us hope for these things".

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