IOC Member Dick Pound: 2020 Olympics Will Be Postponed Due to COVID-19

According to International Olympic Committee member and former Canadian swimmer Dick Pound, the committee has decided to postpone the 2020 Olympic Games, USA Today’s Christine Brennan reported Monday.

Pound said that the postponement will likely be until 2021, with “details to be worked out in the next four weeks.”

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told USA Today. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

“It will come in stages,” he added. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

Sunday, the committee announced it would set a four-week deadline to make a decision. When asked about Pound’s comments, spokesperson Mark Adams said:  “It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced yesterday.”

Athletes worldwide have started to lobby for a postponement. Over the weekend, National Olympic Committees began signaling they would either heavily push for postponement, or refuse to bring their athletes to Tokyo.

Pound, notably, already made headlines this year when he said in February that the IOC would have until May to decide the Games’ fate and that a full cancelation was more likely than a postponement. His comments were widely disputed by other officials.

Update: on a radio appearance shortly after his comments to USA Today became public, Pound issued further context. 

“If they’re going to cancel the Games as one extreme, you don’t have to wait four weeks to do that,” Pound said, as reported by Sports Illustrated. “You just cancel it and put everybody out of their misery. If you’re carrying on with your original plan of July 24th, you don’t need to issue anything because you’ve been talking that way and dealing with the press and elsewhere with that. If you look at the only alternative in the middle of that, it’s the p-word. Postponement is on the table. It’s really a question of whether you postpone by a year or you try and see whether you can squeeze this in at the end of 2020 but with the curve on the COVID virus heading almost straight up, it’s just so unlikely that I think you’re looking at a year. In Japan, you’ve got the prime minister advising the Japanese public that it looks like they won’t be able to proceed as planned and that a postponement may be likely – along with the support of 69% of his constituents that prefer to have a postponement.”

He further walked back his initial take:

“I think the only rational conclusion from all that is we’re talking postponement and you need the four weeks that they mentioned to come up with an alternative,” Pound said. “You can’t just say, ‘We’re going to postpone.’ Because that relieves none of the uncertainty that’s out there. We’re going to take four weeks and we’ll come up and we’re going to give you as much of a Plan B as much as we can at that time.”

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The michael phelps caterpillar
1 year ago

FIRST BALLOT HALL OF FAME NAME!

Chump
1 year ago

Dick Pound. Nice

Hot Take
Reply to  Chump
1 year ago

He’s only 6’2”, I’m not buying it for a second

anonymoose
Reply to  Hot Take
1 year ago

ah if only he were 1” shorter he’d be 69”

Bfunk
Reply to  anonymoose
1 year ago

69” is 5 foot 9 sir

Swimmer A
Reply to  Chump
1 year ago

Dick Smash

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
Reply to  Chump
1 year ago

Get off if you’re going to turn this into a load of jokes. This is going to be a long process and a lot of people will take the heat for it, no need to make it harder than it already is. So many athletes are getting the shaft here.

bodybyfood
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

Sidestroke – nicely played with all your innuendos from the above comments (I counted 5, 6 if we include part of your name). Of course if you were being serious, then I just don’t know where to begin….

Jay Ryan
Reply to  Chump
1 year ago

Kinda like Steele Johnson, the diver

Kristiina
1 year ago

Best is october 2020

Georgi
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

What’s the point?

Dudeman
Reply to  Kristiina
1 year ago

for who?

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
Reply to  Dudeman
1 year ago

Godzilla.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

That was an A+ comment.

cbswims
Reply to  200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
1 year ago

“Oh, no, there goes Tokyo, Go, go, Godzilla (yeah)”

Blue Oyster Cult has never been more relevant.

Kristiina
Reply to  Dudeman
1 year ago

All is cacelled already. Sport summer without olympics is very brutal empty. I watch athletics world championships without public and empty stands in Doha. Night marathons is good. We can not accepted fans this time. Safety is first.

FlyNDie
1 year ago

I had to read that headline twice…
I was really questioning what they were doing in those IOC meetings

Admin
Reply to  FlyNDie
1 year ago

The irony is that, in the world of ‘social media trending,’ he’s become the loudest voice in the Olympic world. Whenever he says something, it shoots up the trend charts on Twitter, FB, and Instagram, mostly for people making name jokes, but it amplifies him immensely.

CHUMP
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

marketing genius

swifter
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Still, a serious source and a serious guy. Former head of WADA

612
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Dick pounding his fist on the table! He will be heard!

Khachaturian
Reply to  612
1 year ago

Hard*

BobbyJones
1 year ago

July/Aug 2021 is awesome! Switch worlds to 2022 and have Commonwealth B teams! Boom Done!

swimz14
Reply to  BobbyJones
1 year ago

That was my thinking too, hoping that works out

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
Reply to  BobbyJones
1 year ago

Silver Lining: Does 2020 become the year where SwimSwam Fanfiction explodes? Imagine Caeleb Dressel and Adam Peaty tying for gold in the 200 breast, Annie Lazor making an impressive meteoric comeback in butterfly events over the next 3 months, and a 9 year-old age-grouper claiming 6th in the 100 free at the USA Olympic Trials and qualifying for team USA’s relays?

Aaron Bell
1 year ago

His Book “Inside The Olympics” is pretty interesting… if anyone is looking to learn more or pass the time.
🔥🍀🇺🇸🍀🔥

Beefcake
Reply to  Aaron Bell
1 year ago

Great cover too

Lane 8
1 year ago

Awesome!!! Good to make the decision now so that everyone have a clear goal.
I have a few questions though:
1. How about 2021 World Championships? And everything afterwards?
2. I guess everyone will have an extra year to qualify for OT’s, right?
3. How about all the pre-qualified athletes? Are they still automatically granted a 2021 Olympic berth if it’s postponed to 2021?
4. What if a second wave takes place when the Olympics are just about to begin? Will they postpone it even more or cancel it?

BobbyJones
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

Try to not think about number 4…

200 SIDESTROKE B CUT
Reply to  BobbyJones
1 year ago

Yeah number 4 sucks.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

#4 is why I thought 2022 made more sense. This is a bit of a gamble

spectatorn
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

guess we really need to give IOC time to come up with more details… lol

DEAN IS GOD
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

I think you just have to imagine next year like this year should have been; pre qualified athletes will swim at their countries trials, which would happen next year before olympics like they should

DEAN IS GOD
Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
1 year ago

and also if there are olympics and everything there is no need for WC. But if sports really wanted to they could take 1-2 to olympics per event and 3-4 to WC, just like WUGS and Pan Ams

unlikely

BobbyJones
Reply to  DEAN IS GOD
1 year ago

no WC? where do we watch fast 50s?? 😮

Texas Tap Water
Reply to  BobbyJones
1 year ago

Pan pacs, euro

Admin
Reply to  Texas Tap Water
1 year ago

I don’t think anyone would really miss Pan Pacs if they went away. It’s a nice filler meet for that other even year, but it’s not really a high prestige event. I think most countries treat it as a utilitarian meet. Nobody’s job is dependent on how the team performs at Pan Pacs.

Euros would work around Olympics if they had to. They already hold European Championships in Olympic years.

Avoiding the soccer World Cup, just for sake of divided attention, would be the bigger issue (even though the players don’t overlap).

Xman
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

1. We can have Olympics or Worlds for 2021, which do you want?
2. Probably, why not?
3. Why not…
4. If that happens I don’t care about the Olympics, I care about having food to eat at that point.

The unoriginal Tim
Reply to  Lane 8
1 year ago

Really people should get to pre qualify. If it’s delayed they need to qualify again like everyone else

Swammer
1 year ago

While I’m all for it, I don’t think we should be hearing from the IOC until it’s an official legitimate letter published to the OCs around the world. I’d hate for this to be said only for something to change. Just my opinion. They should move forward with this and officially release information as soon as it comes.

M Palota
Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

I think – maybe? – he preemptively announced the decision to force the IOC’s hand.

FYI, he’s an amazing guy. Not only a member of the IOC, he was the head of WADA and he – prior to Brent Hayden – is the only Canadian male final in the 100 free. And he’s one of the – if not THE – very best tax lawyers in Canada. He used to write a summary of the tax implications of the Canadian Budget every year and it’d completed a couple days after it passed.

Bo Swims
Reply to  M Palota
1 year ago

Stephen Clarke 8th in 100 Free in 96

Troyy
Reply to  Bo Swims
1 year ago

That was the B Final.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swammer
1 year ago

You mean, you think Dick Pound was premature?

BobbyJones
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

He came too fast with his statement?

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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