The Olympics is supposed to take place this year in Tokyo.
Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen anymore.
Instead, Tokyo 2020 is going to become Tokyo 2021.
This decision comes after an agonising few weeks of deliberation by Japan and the International Olympic Council.
The Best Solution
International Olympic Council (IOC) member, Dick Pound, formally announced the decision on Monday, 24 Mar 2020.
He said that looking at the current situation, it seems like a 1-year postponement appears to be the best decision to make.
The Olympic will be postponed to the summer of 2021, which in Japan, is from June to mid-September.
A Sudden Change From Their Previous Stance
Previously, Japan and IOC were insistent on going ahead with the Olympic Games.
Which makes sense because when you think about it, Japan has sunk a ton of money into building the necessary infrastructure for the event.
The host country has already pumped in US$12 billion (S$17.5 billion) of investment, and this amount excludes the money from sponsors and broadcasters.
Money which was to return manyfold when visitors come to the country in droves for the games or after.
Unfortunately for them, nations and sports bodies started boycotting the event as the Covid-19 outbreak situation worsens around the world.
Both Canada and Australia said that they would not participate if the event was not postponed.
“We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport,” Canada’s Olympic Committee and Paralympic Committee said.
The Singapore National Olympic Council, on the other hand, said they’ll trust in the decision of Japan and the IOC, and trained their athletes as though they’ll participate in Tokyo 2020.
Athletes, meanwhile, were sad but supported the decision to postpone the Olympic Games.
Postponing The Olympic Games Is Complicated
Both Japan and the IOC said that cancelling the Olympic Games is impossible.
And that postponing the Olympics is complicated.
A lot of stakeholders, including the organising committee, to athletes to broadcasters and sporting federations would all need to be consulted.
Plus, the sports calendar for 2021 is crowded while the World Cup is going to be held in 2022.
However, they’ve decided to go ahead with it after sensing that there is a willingness on all stakeholders to hold the games next year.
For example, World Athletics said they were willing to shift their 2021 World Championships forward to accommodate plans for Tokyo 2021.
Japan Sees No Other Choice Other Than Postponement
No matter how bad postponing the event will impact on Japan, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that they have “no choice” in the matter.
After all, even the torch relay, which is normally the highlight (and the beginning) of the event has to be scaled back due to Covid-19.
And since Japan is hoping to recoup their investments through tourism, the various border restrictions around the world is going to stop visitors from coming to Japan anyway.
It’s like us writing this article, but with no advertisers, it’s basically pro bono work.
Tokyo stocks, however, jumped up in value after it was confirmed that the Olympics isn’t going to be cancelled but delayed instead.