IOC “Fully Committed” to Tokyo 2020 After Wave of Qualifying Meet Cancellations

In response to a flood of meet cancellations all over the world in the last 24 hours, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is standing by its previous rhetoric that there are currently no plans to cancel, delay, or move the Tokyo Olympics this Summer. In a press release put out this afternoon, the IOC says it remains “fully committed to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.” The IOC says its working closely with the World Health Organization (WHO), the city of Tokyo, the government of Japan, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, and the United Nations to monitor the situation and determine how to proceed.

Importantly, the IOC notes that many countries’ Olympic qualifying meets have been canceled, and says they are determined to assist International Federations (IF) and National Olympic Committees (NOC) to address missed qualifying opportunites. The IOC states that “Our goal is to help find consistent and credible solutions to replace any missed opportunities for qualification you may have had.” We don’t yet know what those “credible solutions” will look like, although they do say they want to ensure there is “fair access” to qualification events.

The IOC says it will continue to update on the state of the Olympics and Olympic qualifying as information becomes available. You can read the whole release from the IOC below:

WHO position on COVID-19

As you are no doubt aware, the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday declared that COVID-19 has become a pandemic due to the speed and scale of transmission rather than the severity of the disease. A pandemic is defined as “an epidemic occurring worldwide, or over a very wide area, crossing international boundaries and usually affecting a large number of people”

You can find the full WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at the Mission briefing on COVID-19 – 12 March 2020 here.

Tokyo 2020 qualification system impacts

We understand the significant challenges you face, particularly in terms of travel regulations and the varying restrictions on the organisation of events which continue to change daily.

As a result, we are focused on assisting IFs and NOCs to address any challenges they may have with Olympic qualification events. Our goal is to help find consistent and credible solutions to replace any missed opportunities for qualification you may have had.

In doing so we want to ensure you have fair access to qualification events and for qualification to take place on the field of play, including supporting IFs to create fair alternatives to lost qualification opportunities. We are therefore working closely with IFs to approve any necessary changes to the dates and locations of events and any necessary adaptations to the qualification systems.

Olympic Games Tokyo 2020

Following the lighting of the Olympic Flame in Olympia today, the IOC confirmed its full commitment to the success of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Please see the full statement below:

We remain absolutely in line with our Japanese hosts in our commitment to delivering safe Olympic Games in July this year.

At the same time, the world is facing challenges that are also impacting sport. But with 19 weeks before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, the many measures being taken now by authorities all around the world give us confidence and keep us fully committed to delivering Olympic Games that can bring the world together in peace.

The IOC is proud of the solidarity and flexibility shown by the athletes, the International Federations and the National Olympic Committees, which are managing challenges with the qualification system in a number of sports. We are addressing them together. The IOC is cooperating closely with all those concerned and demonstrating all the flexibility needed to adapt the qualification systems. We are also working with all other stakeholders (including Rights-Holding Broadcasters and sponsors) in order to address the current situation.

We remain in close contact with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the host city of Tokyo, the government of Japan and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee through our joint task force, which was set up in mid-February. The IOC will continue to follow the advice of WHO, as the leading United Nations agency on this topic.

On-going communication

As part of our ongoing efforts to keep you informed and as up to date as possible on the impact of COVID-19, the IOC will continue to publish the latest information and advice for athletes here.

Additionally, the IOC Athletes’ Commission will host the next conference call with the Global Network of Athletes’ Commissions on 18 March 2020 from 2-3 pm CET and will be focused exclusively on COVID-19 and its impacts. A summary of the call will be made available on Athlete365.

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Khachaturian
1 year ago

Japan has been handling it well, they have been keeping the numbers low and they were one of the first to get it.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 year ago

So why would they want people from the U.S. to come? We’re just getting started here.

A Skeptic
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 year ago

That’s only because Japan is limiting their testing like the US. Those infection numbers are artificial. In fact, one of the leading infectious specialist in Japan, Dr. Mitsuo Kaku, is predicting that Japan’s infection peak will occur around April-May.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  A Skeptic
1 year ago

The official numbers mean less than nothing right now. Only 11,000 tests have been administered in the United States but with so much duplication — same person twice or more — it means far fewer than 11,000 people have been tested. Actually the low numbers are incredibly damaging because Americans — and undoubtedly Japanese — hear the low number of infected and dismiss it as not much to be worried about. Meanwhile the actual number is an entirely different sphere and doubling roughly every 3-5 days. The ones dismissing it are not difficult to identify. If they believed birtherism was real they think a virus is fake. There’s a reason those pickup trucks are so loud in reverse.

Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

BULLDONKEY

Olympian
1 year ago

Competition behind closed doors and athletes can’t leave the village!! You compete and go home, quick in-and-out! Zombie apocalypse vibe!!

Olympian
Reply to  Olympian
1 year ago

Just realised that would also prevent gas station bathrooms to get trashed, I’m a genius!

Justswim
1 year ago

Well, take in consideration the fact that all athletes now have no way to make the Olympic qualifying standards. We all are training to perform and make the cuts in April, but what now?! #postponeOG

Olympian
Reply to  Justswim
1 year ago

Everybody just adopt the American way, Aussies did it a are having success. Trials in June.

BobbyJones
Reply to  Olympian
1 year ago

Exactly.. whats the use of doing in April… agessssssss before the games!?

Olympian
Reply to  BobbyJones
1 year ago

Well, usually so coaches have time to fit another training cycle before the main meet. But it’s about time for the rest of the world to learn the wonders of double taper like the great Americanos.

MObrien
1 year ago

No no no! If we can’t host NCAA championships here, with the US best medical system in the world, then I’m certainly not going to trust Japan or China or any Asian country WHERE THIS ALL BEGAN, to host the Olympics ! We are cancelling NCAA championships something these kids have waited for their entire lives, and magically think it’s ok to go overseas For the Olympics? IT began over there! People, either this is political BS and one sided ..
As in, it’s ok for the US to cancel events but not for Japan, (too much money to loose) or this is complete and utter stupidity! If it’s that bad, then it’s alllllll that bad!

Samesame
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

Depends on the curve ie . How many will be catching it in May/June compared to now, and how has the US got the best medical system? I thought there were not enough test kits there . And that there is no universal healthcare ?

Todd Kramer
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

The best medical system my a**. We are currently testing for the coronavirus at a much lower rate than other developed countries…. Stop burying your head in the sand…

MObrien
Reply to  Todd Kramer
1 year ago

Ok you tell me of a better healthcare system and where.. where is that?? What country?? Name it?

Admin
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

There is no definitive answer to that question, and I’m certain that not a single person in this conversation is an expert on “which countries have the world’s best healthcare systems.”

I pulled up about 6 lists on the internet from people who do have expertise in these things, and in all cases the answers seem to be Commonwealth nations (Canada, UK, Australia, etc.), Germany, Scandanavian countries, Switzerland, and Japan. There’s some variation in the lists, but here’s what was true of every list I found: the U.S. was not in the top 10, and Japan ranked higher than the US.

There’s always some quibbling in these lists over criteria and fine-tuning, but the takeaway is this: your statement that… Read more »

Swimdaddy
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

Literally any other developed country – canada, the UK, HK, South Korea, the entire European Union, Australia, NZ and the list goes on

Swammer from Wakanda
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

Bruh Japan is waaaaaayyyyyyy different from China. Socially, economically, customs and courtesies. I imagine their healthcare systems are very different too. Just because they’re geographically close doesn’t mean anything.

Mike
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

You lost me at “US best medical system in the world”

Brownish
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

US’s medical system is the best only in the States.

MObrien
Reply to  Brownish
1 year ago

Where is a better one? What country ?? Do tell…

Corn Pop
Reply to  MObrien
1 year ago

One where testing in a pandemic is free. In a city of 2 mill & 14 ( overseas acquired) confirmed cases , we are doing 750-1000 tests a day . Free.

Goobergoobergoobergoobergoobergoobergoober
1 year ago

The first olympics in 20 years that Phelps doesn’t go to and this happens. COME BACK HES THE CURE

Kristiina

Phelps still swimming

Arpit
1 year ago

dear IOC stop believing WHO, rest of the world has done so from last 2 months