Impact of coronavirus on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
- Possible impact of Coronavirus on the Olympics Games 2020 Tokyo
- Speculations, budget and COVID-19 threat on the Tokyo Olympics Games 2020
COVID-19 has invariably had ramifications all over the world, and the world of sports. The extent of seriousness of the pandemic can be estimated by the number of significant sporting events which have been either called off or postponed. Just to show the tip of the iceberg, let's consider the example of the NBA - the league has called off the entire season up until further notice. It is quite disheartening for the fans, team owners, and the players. One can only imagine the financial losses which the league and the related professionals are taking or will incur from the coronavirus outbreak. The story of other senior leagues and sporting events are quite similar; this includes UEFA 2020, IPL 2020, English Premier League, La Liga and many more.
Since its inception, Olympics has been the stage of many inspiring stories. It has helped in the development of sports culture all over the world. Participating in the Olympics is the ultimate glory for any sportsperson.
The inaugural ceremony of the 2020 Olympics is scheduled for July 24. Given the proximity of Japan to China and South Korea, such a grand event with so many spectators and participants do ring many bells of concern. So far, Japan with more than 1550 confirmed cases is 10th on the global list. But the threat is relatively high and likely to exacerbate as Japan is quite densely populated. Demographically Japan has one of the highest percentage of elderly people, who are more susceptible to the virus than youngsters. Additionally, there will be a significant number of athletes pouring in from China, South Korea, Italy, the USA, Iran, the UK and Spain where the cases of coronavirus are increasing quite alarmingly day by day.
It will not be surprising if many countries decide to not send their athletes to the Olympics altogether. Abstaining of any of the major countries will definitely dilute the event. Imagine how much star power do countries like China, the USA, the UK, Iran, France, Italy, and Spain carry with them. Any postponement will pose a enormous burden on the Olympics Committee and on the host country. These Olympic Games will likely be the costliest ever with an estimated 11,000 participants. The capital budget is estimated to be more than $25 billion, and is likely to go up due to secondary facilities required to tackle COVID-19.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach has reiterated his full support for the timely start of the games and has already formed a joint task force consisting of IOC, Government of Japan, the city of Tokyo and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the smooth operation of the Olympics. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also displayed his full confidence in the organizing authorities.
Let's hope the world effectively tackles this pandemic and a magnicificent event takes place at its scheduled time.
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Published 17 Mar 2020, 11:06 IST