Olympics Definitely Delayed, International Olympic Committee Member Dick Pound Tells USA Today
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Mar. 23, 2020
The Olympic Games will be postponed, possibly until 2021, International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound told USA Today Monday, as more nations joined in seeking a delay to the July start amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound was reported saying in a phone interview with the newspaper. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Dick Pound, a Canadian and one of the most influential members of the IOC, was quoted by USA Today as stating: “It will come in stages, We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
The Tokyo organizing committee on Monday notified national federations, media and other groups that have booked hotel rooms through the entity that final payment deadline has been pushed back by four weeks.
A growing number of countries–Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany and Norway, among them–have called for delaying the Olympics as have some major sports bodies such as World Athletics, U.S. Swimming and U.S. Track and Field.
Opposition to maintaining the Olympic schedule of July 24 to Aug. 9, with dressage along with eventing and jumping among the sports, has grown rapidly since the IOC announced Sunday the status of the Games was being reviewed, including postponement.
Sports around the world, including the top professional leagues, have been suspended while government orders for citizens to stay home and avoid gatherings some as few as two people have sharply curtailed athletes’ preparations for the Olympics.
Since the first international equestrian event was canceled at the beginning of March more than 40 shows of 97 on the calendar have been canceled to the end of June, including the World Cup Finals of dressage and jumping in Las Vegas in mid-April and CHIO Rotterdam of 5* Nations Cups of both disciplines set for late June.
The Olympics have been canceled previously only in times of war–1916 because of World War I and 1940 and 1944 due to World War II.