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2020 Summer Olympics Likely To Be Postponed Until 2021 Due To Global Pandemic

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2020 Summer Olympics Likely To Be Postponed Until 2021 Due To Global Pandemic

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A longstanding member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dick Pound, has said the 2020 Olympic Games would be postponed until next year.

What Happened

In an interview with USA Today, Pound said, “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided.” He disclosed, “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

The process of moving the Olympics to next year will take place in stages, according to Pound, who is the longest-serving member of the IOC. He explained, “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

The Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, is scheduled to have a telephone conference Tuesday night with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. 

Abe is reaching out to the Olympic body after the IOC indicated the games should be postponed, and the Prime Minister made gestures indicating Japan would like to hold the Olympics in their full format. The Prime Minister of Japan is expected to ask Bach to decide a new time table as soon as possible in case the postponement is confirmed, reported NHK, Japan’s national broadcaster.

Why It Matters

In a statement released on its website, the IOC said a number of “critical venues” needed for the Games could “potentially not be available anymore.” The IOC noted that it was a challenge to handle the situation arising out of “millions of hotel nights” that have already been booked. It also said that the international sports calendar for at least 33 Olympic sports would have to be adapted.

Canada and Australia have already indicated that they would not be sending athletes to the Tokyo Olympics, reports the BBC.

President Donald Trump tweeted regarding the United States participation, "We will be guided by the wishes of Prime Minister Abe of Japan, a great friend of the United States and a man who has done a magnificent job on the Olympic Venue, as to attending the Olympic Games in Japan. He will make the proper decision!"

The ramifications of a postponed Olympics would extend to Olympic sponsors and broadcasters. Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ: CMCSA) owned NBC has already paid $4.38 billion for the rights to show four Olympic games from 2014-2020. 

Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) is the U.S. Olympic Committee sponsor up until the Los Angeles 2028 Games are held. Nike will lose out on the opportunity to promote its brand, increase its sales and expand its customer base should the 2020 games be delayed.

Other Olympics sponsors include Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO), Toyota Motor Corporation (NYSE: TM), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (OTC: SSNLF) and Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL)(NASDAQ: GOOG) owned Google. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Olympic.org

 

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