VIGEVANO, March 24, 2020 - Finally the decision desired by everyone has come: Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will take place in 2021, announced in a joint statement by Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, and Shinzo Abe, Japanese Prime Minister.
They said that the Games would be moved to a period to be agreed, but no later than summer 2021. Someone had hoped the Games could take place in November this year, but fortunately reason prevailed. However, now we need to find the least invasive dates for the upcoming calendar year, which is full of World Championships.
HYPOTHESIS APRIL-MAY Already in Bach's conference call with international federations last week, the hypothesis of a move to April-May was advanced, but it seems that this choice would end up colliding with some great US events that the NBC cannot renounce, and the US network is the largest shareholder in the Olympic world. In addition, some great classics of many sports are also planned at that time. They have been cancelled this year and if they disappear and lose the date on the calendar, they would risk dying.
HYPOTHESIS JULY-AUGUST The possibility of organizing the Games on the same days as this year certainly makes sense. Surely it will produce the same conditions of heat and probably impact the marathon and race walk events in Sapporo, but it will probably be easier to manage.
VENUES In a year's time, perhaps it will be easier to negotiate the transfer of all the payments already made for accommodation to the same period of the coming year. It will not be an easy negotiation, but it should be possible to bring it to a successful end. Some temporary venues, such as the facility that will host the gymnastics, would have been transformed from September for the setting up of fairs and exhibitions, therefore it will be necessary to verify the possibility of delaying the return of the venues to private individuals or to find new ones. The same goes for the Olympic Village, in fact most of the apartments have already been sold and therefore a delay in taking possession must be negotiated with the owners.
WORLD ATHLETICS CHANGES Sebastian Coe, president of World Athletics, had already made it known yesterday that the athletics family wanted this move of the Games and had already contacted the organizers of the World Championships scheduled in Eugene in July 2021, who declared themselves available to move to the summer of 2022. Athletics is one of the key sports of the Olympics and, having removed this possible obstacle, it makes everything easier and therefore will open the door for Sebastian Coe, to become a member of the IOC.
ACQUATICS CHANGES FINA has its 2021 World Cup scheduled in Fukuoka Japan and is only waiting for the IOC's final decision on the dates of the Games to move its event either before or after Tokyo. Gymnastics, whose president is Watanabe, IOC member and Japanese, judo with Vizer as president, and other sports, are certainly available to find a solution. However, a plenary meeting will be needed to give birth to the new international calendar, because the move of the Olympics will also influence the 2022 calendar.
UNIVERSIADE IN DANGER The XXXI Summer World University Games are scheduled from August 8th till August 19th in Chengdou, China. This will for sure collide with the possible postponement dates of the Olympics. A solution is to be found to avoid this collision, as sport in the university is still important. Participation in the Universiade is different than the Olympics and most of the athletes use it as a trampoline to reach bigger goals. For this reason we encourage to find a solution to allow this organization to carry out this important work with the new generation.
FOOTBALL IS A PROBLEM UEFA has moved the men's European Championships from 2020 to June 11 to July 11, 2021, invading the terrain of the women's European Championships, scheduled from July 7 to August 1, 2021 and now what will happen to this tournament? Women's Olympic football is important, because it launched the women's movement. So the two events cannot coexist at the same time, because they have the same protagonists, unlike the male one. Unless football prefers to give more importance to its women's events and leave only the B or youth teams to the Olympic world.
Gianni Merlo - AIPS President PHOTO by Getty Images