Amid Coronavirus Outbreak, Olympic Postponement ‘Has Not Been Considered’

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Tokyo2020 skyline - Photo Courtesy: Twitter, @RefugeesOlympic

Organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are not considering postponement of the Games despite the cancellation of a large number of test events and major championships in many sports as a result of the coronavirus spreading through parts of China and into other countries.

Nearly 1,400 people have been killed by this coronavirus and 64,000 more have been infected in China alone.

Several international events set to take place in China and surrounding countries have been postponed, including the Chinese Grand Prix Formula One race and the World Indoor Championships of track and field. Three LPGA events and a skiing World Cup event in Asia have been canceled as has the Diving World Series event that was scheduled for Mary 7-9 in Beijing.

As of Friday, 42 sporting events have been either postponed or cancelled.

The Olympics are not on that list.

“I want to again state clearly that cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Games has not been considered,” Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said at a press conference on Thursday.

More Olympic coverage

Tokyo Olympic organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Friday there is no “Plan B” for the 2020 Games because of the corona virus, which open in less than six months.

“Certainly the advice we’ve received externally from the WHO (World Health Organization) is that there’s no case for any contingency plans or cancelling the games or moving the games,” John Coates, the head of an IOC inspection team, told The Associated Press.

According to the AP, Coates and Tokyo Olympic organizers took 11 questions at a news conference on Friday. All 11 were about the virus, or the presence of Chinese athletes in 19 remaining test events in Japan, or about Chinese fans, or repeated questions seeking reassurance the games will go ahead as planned.

Coates was asked by a CNN reporter if he was 100 percent confident that the Tokyo Olympics would go on as scheduled and open on July 24.

“Yes,” he replied.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronovirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. There are now confirmed cases in at least 25 countries, including the U.S., Great Britain, Australia, Hong Kong, Italy Japan, Singapore, Russia, Sweden and South Korea.

Read the Independent story here.

4 comments

  1. Kimberly Joy

    I wouldn’t want to go to Asia right now. They should start thinking of a new venue

  2. Doug Schack

    Just more proof that the Olympics are unsustainable.

  3. Nick Cittadinni

    Kimberly Joy I here Omaha is beautiful during summers of Olympic years…

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