The Covid-19 sanitary crisis worldwide expansion led to national and international sporting events being progressively cancelled or postponed. While an increasing number of countries began confining their population, the Tokyo Olympic Games held to the slim chance they could be maintained. In the end however, the deteriorating situation of the pandemic, together with the rising pressure from the sporting federations and the anxiety of the Japanese people forced the government to reconsider its optimistic stance. The Japanese authorities eventually asked for the Games to be postponed on March 24th, which the National Olympic Committees agreed to. This difficult decision is a relief for many athletes who couldn’t train properly anymore nor attend qualifications for the Games.
This is the first time in history that the Olympics are postponed in times of peace, and this will entail dramatic economic consequences for all of the stakeholders. The organizers will face a huge logistical challenge and the media will have to change all of their plans. Attending sporting Federations also have to deal with decisive concerns, notably the disruption of the global calendar of tournaments – as is the case of the Athletics World Championships, that must now consider postponement as well. The issue of participants is relevant too, since barely half of the athletes have yet been selected and all qualification tournaments have been cancelled or suspended. As for the 2024 Paris Olympics, the French Committee has said it wasn’t concerned so far.