Scenarios of Olympics under the shadow of coronavirus
Updated: Mar 11, 2020, 04:28 PM(IST)
With a little over four months left to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, organisers said events would go ahead as planned. But, in view of the coronavirus scare, the situation is fluid and filled with a lot of uncertainities.
Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has put his legacy on stake as the longest-serving leader with the Games. Japan has invested at least $12 billion in the hope of a massive boost to its economy.
IOC President Thomas Bach has said he is confident the Games will start on time. Tokyo 2020 head Yoshiro Mori, while insisting there would be no changes in the schedule, last week said the organisers had to address the situation in a flexible manner.
Impact so far
The participation of children from Japan in the torch handover ceremony in Greece was cancelled just weeks before it was to begin. Organisers will now decide on torch relay celebrations in Japan a week before the torch arrives in each location.
New location or time?
Though a candidate to be mayor of London said the 2012 Summer Games host could take over if needed, experts dismissed the possibility because of impossible logistics and no guarantee on the virus.
Later in 2020 is also impossible because of packed US and European sports schedules, which precluded holding the Tokyo Games in more seasonal October.
Tokyo 2021 or cancellation
Pushing the Games back by a year, to the same time period in 2021, presents huge logistical challenges but does fall into broadcasters' open schedules, Pilson said.
Cancellation is the most drastic step but would minimise logistical issues. The Summer Games have been cancelled three times before, all for war including the 1940 Games, set for Tokyo.