Postponing 2020 Olympic Games is a 'realistic option,' organizers say as pressure builds from athletic groups

After insisting for weeks that the 2020 Olympic Ga...

Posted: Mar 23, 2020 8:41 AM
Updated: Mar 23, 2020 4:15 PM

After insisting for weeks that the 2020 Olympic Games would go ahead as planned, Tokyo's Organizing Committee says that postponement is now a 'realistic option.'

Committee President Yoshiro Mori conceded that although the preference is to host the spectacle as normal in July, organizers would work alongside the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to explore alternatives amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

'Postponement isn't our first course of action but we cannot not consider it as a realistic option either,' Mori said in a news conference Monday, ruling out the idea of canceling the event entirely.

It comes after the IOC executive board said Sunday it is considering postponing this summer's Games and has given itself a four-week deadline to make a decision.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also said a decision to postpone may be needed if the Games cannot be held in a complete form.

READ: Canada and Australia will not send athletes to Tokyo Olympics

Countries pull out

Pressure has been building on organizers to delay this year's Olympics with the world closing down because of the continued spread of Covid-19.

Training facilities and gyms are shutting in many countries and major qualifying events have already been canceled.

Canada and Australia have said they would not send athletes to Tokyo this year because of the risks associated with the virus and requested the competition be moved back until 2021.

World Athletics President Sebastian Coe also urged the IOC to postpone the Games, saying hosting the competition in July was 'neither feasible or desirable'.

In a letter penned to IOC President Thomas Bach on Sunday, Coe gave three main reasons why delaying the start of the Games was necessary.

Firstly, Coe raised concerns that athletes in certain countries would not be able to train as much as others, creating an unfair playing field. He also stated that certain athletes would try to cram training into a shorter amount of time, which could lead to injury.

Finally, Coe said uncertainly over the July Games was risking the physical and mental well-being of athletes and their families.

'No one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but as I have said publicly, we cannot hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety, and a decision on the Olympic Games must become very obvious very quickly,' he wrote.

READ: Dybala becomes the third Juventus player to test positive for the coronavirus

Athlete concern

Multiple athletes have raised their own concerns. Japanese footballer Nahomi Kawasumi said Monday that she was withdrawing from the torch relay.

Kawasumi, who helped her country lift the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2011, plays for Sky Blue FC in New Jersey, near New York City, which has seen a recent surge in confirmed cases.

She said she was concerned about the risk of being infected or infecting others if she traveled back from the US.

USA Swimming and USA Track and Field also both called for the Olympics to be pushed back until 2021 over the weekend.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3563578

Reported Deaths: 51953
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119089421328
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2862912816
Orange2610223904
San Diego2596413271
Santa Clara1104221777
Kern102627826
Fresno952021443
Sacramento931801472
Alameda804961241
Ventura77534844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62164674
Stanislaus56024946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38922515
San Francisco34213410
Santa Barbara31763409
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28063298
Imperial26888591
Kings21951218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15436209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12816185
Shasta10972174
Butte10941160
El Dorado9095100
Napa901469
Sutter884597
San Benito575959
Yuba573336
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada395274
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador345741
Humboldt318033
Lake315341
Glenn222023
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
Sierra990
Alpine810
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 52°
Oroville
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 54°
Chico
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
Red Bluff
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 16°
Feels Like: 53°
Red Bluff
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 53°
Chico
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 52°
After a windy Saturday and fairly breezy Sunday, the wind we've had is weakening as the month of February comes to a close. We can expect a mostly clear first morning of March, followed by more clouds and mild air by the afternoon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events