Olympic Games Postponed–Relief & Uncertainty

By Ben Hamill - March 29 2020

Olympic Games Postponed–Relief & Uncertainty

Relief. Excitement. Uncertainty. These are the seemingly confusing, but really perfectly understandable, emotions experienced by athletes all over the world following the recent (and mostly anxiously anticipated) announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been officially postponed until 2021.

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The International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 planning committee on Tuesday announced information completely new and unprecedented. This will be the very first time in the history of the games and of sport that the Olympic Games have been postponed – ever. The games may very well have been completely cancelled in lieu of past World Wars, but a postponement is an idea both new as well as completely alien.

Sooner Better Than Later

Athletes from all over the world – and particularly Canadian athletes – have been pleading with the committee to come to a decision regarding whether the games will proceed in July, or not. Most rallied for a cancellation, referring to the committee’s supposedly lagged approach as more harrowing and stressful than what the situation called for in a time already plagued by global uncertainties.

And now that the committee has done exactly that, the reality of the mammoth logistical nightmare that must now be navigated, is beginning to set in. Broadcasters have forked out millions for exclusive broadcasting rights, sponsors are having to cut their losses and are withdrawing sponsorships in their drones, Japan is having to mitigate millions of dollars in expenses incurred for an Olympic Games that will now only happen a year from now and athletes are left relieved but also completely at a loss as to what the future holds and what a way forward would look like.

Human Life Remains 1st Priority

There are in fact questions no end; reasonable questions and concerns; that now demand answers and solutions. Qualification processes and specifically the timelines involved with those processes, plagued all the while by enormous financial consequences as a constant underlying theme, are at the top of the list of concerns for professional athletes right now.

But according to Canada’s Dick Pound, who happens to be the longest-serving member of the International Olympic Commission right now, the complications now demanding navigation by the committee and athletes alike, are preferable to what would have been a situation that exposed athletes to a potentially deadly set of circumstances.

Events can be rescheduled, financial issues can be navigated, but the loss of human life is a situation that cannot be salvaged by any amount of money or determination in the world.

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