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4 impacts of Tokyo Olympics being postponed to 2021

Here we take a look at how the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games may have impacted the world of sports.

4 impacts of Tokyo Olympics being postponed to 2021


Published: 27 March 2020 4:56 AM GMT

The much-awaited 2020 Tokyo Olympics was just 4 months away when uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic postponed it by at least a year.

The event was supposed to kick off on July 24. However, recently, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese government officially took the call to postpone the Games — an unprecedented decision.


The fans are somewhat appeased, at least the Olympics will happen. But what does it mean for the athletes, coaches, sponsors and the Japanese economy? Only with time all the repercussions of the decision will come to fore. Here we take a look at how the postponement may have impacted the world of sports:

# Athletes

As one might know, Olympic athletes live their life in four life cycles. The construct their routine around the Games calender, it’s a commitmennt of time and energy over a period of four years.

Many athletes give up studies, family, rituals — just to train for the Olympics, just so they could peak in that particular year. Some athletes could go on the other side of age come 2021. Now they have to replan, if they want to have another shot at an Olympic medal next year.

As of now, more than 6,000 athletes (74 Indians) from around the world had already qualified for the upcoming Games. Many more were still fighting for a spot, for them it’s going back to the grind.

# Qualification Scenario

saina-nehwal Will Saina get a second shot at qualification? (Source: Sportskeeda)

According to IOC, nearly 57% of the Olympic quotas had been grabbed by athletes. But now with the Olympics postponed to next summer do they get automatic qualification? Or do they have to fight it out and qualify again?

There will be two trains of thoughts here, no doubt. Athletes who have already qualified would not want to go through it again while those who came close but couldn’t, would not mind another shot.

As for the spots that are still up for grabs, what happens next? How do the likes of Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth or a Dipa Karmakar make the cut? The entire qualification procedure has gone for a toss, how will it be fixed? Is it as simple as rescheduling events like the Olympic trials in India in wrestling or gymnastics?

# Financial Aspects

Coronavirus concerns the Olympic slection of the players all over the world (Source: Deadline) Japan's economy will take the worse hit (Source: Deadline)

In terms of finance, Japan’s economy, which is already hurting, will probably take the biggest hit.

The IOC has about $2 billion in reserve to sustain until its next big payday as well as an insurance to guard against potential disruptions to the Olympic Games. Japan, on the other hand, has already spent close to $28 billion to prepare for the Games, as per a report by Associated Press.

In return, the country was expecting an economic uptick through tourism with spectators flying in from around the world and spending money at hotels, restaurants, etc. However, now they will have to wait for all of that projected revenue.

# Global Sports Calender

calendar Global sports calendar will be affected (Source: 888sport)

In all, the Tokyo Olympics was supposed to see as many as 33 sports which means that now that the Games have been postponed, 33 international sports federations must adapt to the new schedule of the Games.

Of course, in some sports it is less complicated than others. But in sports like football, shooting, badminton, the calendar is already pretty crammed — and rescheduling could prove daunting.

As suggested by the official statement "a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021," the exact dates of the Games remains unclear. However, somewhere, there will be a need to rejig the entire sports calendar.

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