If doom and gloom were an Olympic event, it already would have swept the medals at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. When an anonymous Japanese politician said last week that he or she “didn’t think” the Olympics would be held, a worldwide media frenzy ensued, with news organizations across the globe bracing for breaking news that never materialized. Over the next three or four months, expect more of this. Much more. An official or a politician will utter something about the Summer Olympics, scheduled for July 23-August 8, 2021, and the world will shudder, while the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers will say that all systems still are go because, right now, they most definitely are. This doesn’t mean the Olympics will actually be held; it only means that the IOC and local organizers likely will push any decision to cancel the Games to the last possible minute. Last year, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed on March 24. If officials have to make the devastating decision to cancel the Olympics – creating an eight-year gap between Summer Games and a lost generation of athletes while costing TV rights-holders, sponsors and other stakeholders billions of dollars – they almost certainly will hold off as long as they can.“I don’t think a decision like that will be made in March,” Dick Pound, the longest-serving IOC member, told USA TODAY Sports in a telephone interview Tuesday. “I think you want to wait and see. You want to get as far out of winter as you can. That’s usually the end of the flu season. If there’s any doubt, they’ll drag it out as long as possible to see if it can be made safe enough to proceed.”Pound, a Canadian who has been one of the most influential members of the IOC for decades, is optimistic the Olympics will be held this summer despite the world’s struggles with COVID-19.“Knowing what I know, yes, I am,” he said. “Unless the elephant in the room shows a resurgence, the party line in the IOC and Japan is we’re going to find a way to put the Games on. If there’s no huge spike in Japan and around the world, odds are pretty good they will pull it off.”As the international sports community searches for positive developments in the midst of the pandemic, one came Tuesday morning from USA Swimming, which announced plans to modify but still hold its popular Olympic trials in Omaha, Nebraska, June 13-20. The event will have less than half of its usual complement of competitors, about 750 swimmers, vying for about 50 spots on the Olympic team. Another competition will be held a week earlier at the same venue for those swimmers who qualified for the trials but with slightly slower times in their events. To allow for possible break-out performances from those athletes, the first- and second-place finishers in individual finals at that competition will advance to the main event the next week with a chance to try to qualify for the Olympic team.
All data is taken from the source: http://usatoday.com
Article Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/columnist/brennan/2021/01/26/tokyo-olympics-talk-canceling-games-premature-winter/4266276001/
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