UPDATE: The 2020 Olympics will be postponed by up to one year. A statement was issued between Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan and Thomas Bach, the President of the International Olympic Committee which you can read below.
The original article is below.
According to Christine Brennan of USA Today, the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed. She received the information in a phone interview with International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.
The IOC hasn’t officially announced anything, but apparently they wanted to take up to four weeks before making a final decision. However, based on Pound’s remarks, the IOC has determined that the Olympics can’t start on July 24, even though no announcements was made as of Monday evening.
The reasons are clear. The COVID-19 coronavirus has infected over 300,000 people based on tests. In the United States, there are over 30,000 cases and 500 deaths. These numbers will continue to move up in the days and weeks ahead. In the short term, they will move up exponentially, especially in the US as more people get tested.
Though this is the right decision, it will put a damper on the Wizards, where Rui Hachimura was expected to be one of the “major faces of Japanese sports” since he will represent their team. I was really looking forward to see how he was going to be a major ambassador for the games.
For the Mystics, Emma Meesseman was likely going to represent the Belgium women’s national team in their first appearance — but now that will have to wait, most likely for a year. Elena Delle Donne would also represent the United States if her health permits, and who knows? Ariel Atkins had a chance too.
A postponement of the 2020 Olympics also impacts the current NBA season, if it goes on, and upcoming WNBA season. For the NBA, there would be no need for an Olympic break if games go on in the summer. In the WNBA, the schedule is already determined, so it will be interesting how the season gets moved around.
But of course, we also have to realize that we are in the middle of a global pandemic. There’s a good chance that the 2019-20 NBA season may be cancelled and that the 2020 WNBA season won’t happen at all. I don’t want to be fear mongering, but we’ll cross those bridges when we get there.
In the last couple weeks, I was bracing for a report that the Olympics would be postponed or cancelled. Though it isn’t surprising, it is still shocking.