An International Olympic Committee member told USA TODAY on Monday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed. Veteran IOC member Dick Pound said he believed that postponement would push the games into the summer of 2021. It’s not a surprise, but it is also an important reminder that the whole world is being profoundly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a phone interview with USA TODAY, Pound explained that one thing is for sure: the games, slated to begin on July 24 in Tokyo, will not be happening this summer. The exact timeline remains to be decided, as there are tons of logistics that need to be put in place for one of the world’s most internationally complicated events. “It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense,” Pound said.
The announcement comes after weeks of speculation as to whether or not even a limited Olympics could take place this summer. Most of the world’s major sporting events have been suspended indefinitely at this point, and the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the National Hockey League have all suspended activities. The NFL says it will be performing its draft in April, but all surrounding festivities have been canceled. In Europe, football leagues have suspended play and will likely continue to suspend play until more positive public health news appears.