Japanese Olympic Committee Official Calls For Postponement Of 2020 Games

A member of the Japanese Olympic Committee has said it’s time to postpone this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, publicly going against the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and it’s recent statement that the plan was for the Games to go on as scheduled.

Kaori Yamaguchi, a former judo world champion, told the Japanese news outlet “Nikkei” that the IOC is “putting athletes at risk”, and that she plans to argue her position when the Japanese Olympic Committee next meets on March 27.

“As far as I can tell from news reports coming out of the U.S. and Europe, I don’t think the situation allows for athletes to continue training as usual,” Yamaguchi said.

The 55-year-old, who is one of the committee’s 23 executive board members, says that as long as the Games are planned to go on as scheduled, the athletes are inclined to train, which puts them at unnecessary risk amid the outbreak of the novel coronavirus.

“By asking them to train under these conditions, the IOC is opening itself up the criticism that it is not putting athletes first,” she said.

In its Tuesday press release, the IOC said: “With more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”

Over the last 24 hours or so we’ve seen prominent figures in the swimming community start to ask for a postponement of the Games. This includes former US Men’s Olympic Head Coach Bob Bowman, former US National Team director Frank Busch, Italian Swimming Federation president Paolo Barelli, and Swimming Australia published a formal statement asking for a “level playing field”, essentially saying that if the Games were to go on in July, that wouldn’t be the case.

2016 US Olympian Jacob Pebley has also called for USA Swimming to postpone the Olympic Trials, which may not happen until the Games are officially moved back.

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Michael Dressel
2 years ago

i am okay it gets cancalled actually.

NoFlyKick
2 years ago

No matter how you slice and dice it, COVID-19 will be a tragedy for some athletes. If the Olympics are held on-time, some will be unable to train properly, some will be ill, the audience will be depleted, endorsement deals will be scarcer. etc. If you delay the Olympics, some will be past their peak, some will not be able to afford to continue their training, some will suffer an injury during the unexpected extended training period. etc.
But this is all nearly trivia. It’s a sports competition people. These are just what they are called, games. Big, harry, important games that a select group of athletes have devoted their lives to, but games.

COVID-19 has killed thousands of… Read more »

Kristiina
Reply to  NoFlyKick
2 years ago

Catastrophic situation is only Spain and Italy. China is nearly clean currently.

Kristiina
Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

Iran too but bd country(many doping athletes)

Kristiina
Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

Iran too but main country world sport.

Gator
Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

Dis-invite PRC from Olympic Games

NoFlyKick
Reply to  Gator
2 years ago

What good would that accomplish? The only Chinese swimmer they need to keep out is Sun Yang, and he has already been dis-invited.

NoFlyKick
Reply to  Kristiina
2 years ago

Yes. Europe is now in crisis.
Here in the US I see too many attempts to blame China, or dismiss their “success” as fabricated statistics. Instead, let us look at what they did that worked, what they did that did not work, and learn from it.

Kristiina
2 years ago

Yes but without an audience, replacing the lightgame, artificial sound, and the robots to serve them. All athletes and backforce must be put on a 2-week quarantine in the Olympic area and the Olympic Village. Tokyo must be placed in quarantine for nearly two months. The Paralympic must be brought closer, or the days after Olympics, to reduce Tokyo quarantine time. Qualification should be based on ranking and A norms at present. Most of the peaks have a norm and the large countries need to be deployed ranking as of the current. You must adapt yourself and the rules to the new reality. This ranking(Team events) and A- standard based qualification system are the most equitable.

Kristiina
2 years ago

I’m in it, I’m in it, that yes, but without an audience, replacing the lightgame, artificial sound, and the robots to serve them. All athletes, the backforce must be put on a 2-week quarantine in the Olympic area and the Olympic Village. Tokyo must be placed in quarantine for nearly two months. The Paralympic must be brought closer, or the days after the mainstream Olympics, to reduce Tokyo quarantine time. Qualification should be based on frontline and A norms at present. Most of the peaks have a norm and the large countries need to be deployed ranking as of the current. You must adapt yourself and the rules to the new reality. This frontline and A- standard based qualification system… Read more »

Spud
2 years ago

There’s a low threshold to intubate persons with covid (it’s non-rebreather at my workplace) because ARDS is likely. Bay Area has 1,500 icu beds (and 65,000 in US), and even less ventilators. Eventually, majority will have the virus, but the compromised will take the hit. Ideally, Quarantining will flatten the curve so those most affected by CV will not need treatment/ventilation at the same time (ex. Italy). Too little is known about treatment & recovery to say how quickly this will pass. Should the US economy come to a stand still because of it? No. But the US was unprepared and will have to Establish policy & expectations when/if this happens again. Taiwan (23 million population) is a great example-… Read more »

Kristiina
2 years ago

One risks lower is Olympic athletes and teams 2 weeks quarantine before games. No public this time but is best currently quarantee all safety.

Boknows34
2 years ago

A postponement until next year will also have a direct impact on the the World Championships which are also due to be held in Fukuoka, Japan in July 2021.

One positive that might come out if it is that it would give Rikako Ikee an extra 12 months to recover from her illness and give her a chance to compete at a Tokyo 2021 Olympics.

FlyNDie
Reply to  Boknows34
2 years ago

Is it too much to hold both the world champs and the Olympics? Send the A-team athletes to the olympics and the B-team athletes to the world champs, similar to the Pan Ams and World Champs situation the US had in 2019. It would be a lot of strain on one country though.

Max C
Reply to  FlyNDie
2 years ago

Of course the swimming community would love it, but I think it would just make the world champs worse and decrease interest in them from the general public.

Kristiina
2 years ago

Ranking base qualifing is best current situation. A-standars breakers automatically qualifing is best(one country 2 or 3 athletes base own country rankings since 2019 IOC and Fina qualifing period)

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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