2020 Olympics Still On?
Before the pandemic, the 2020 Summer Olympics was scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9, 2020, in Tokyo, Japan. However, once the pandemic started ramping up in March, the games were rescheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. Many wondered if the summer games could even be held in 2021 due to the surge in infections and new mutations of the virus, but it looks like it may still be possible for the games to be held on schedule.
On Thursday, the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said, “We have, at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on July 23 in the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.” Mr. Bach expressed clearly that there is no plan-B. Bach’s comments came after the International Olympic Committee’s longest-serving member, Dick Pound, expressed uncertainty due to surges in the virus.
Committee officials have expressed that postponement is not possible at this point, so if the games don’t proceed as planned, the games will be cancelled altogether. Cancelling the games would not only be a blow to athletes who have trained hard to have a shot at a gold medal, but it would also be a significant blow to Comcast owned NBCUniversal and its streaming service Peacock. The Olympics are one of the highest-rated events on TV, and in 2014, NBC paid $7.7 billion to broadcast the games through 2032.
The Summer Olympics is a logistical nightmare under the best circumstances, so it’ll be interesting to see if the International Olympic Committee can pull it off amid a pandemic.
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