Tokyo 2020 postponed

The Summer Olympics slated for August will be postponed until 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This was the decision arrived at by the IOC and host country Japan after a phone call between Prime Minister Abe and IOC President Bach. Shortly before the announcement Bach had said that he wouldn't make a decision until mid-April. The press uses the postponement to make fundamental considerations about the Games.

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Vedomosti (RU) /

Olympic flame remains a glimmer of hope

The sporting world didn't take the decision lightly, explains Vedomosti:

“The question of whether the Olympic Games should be held with a pandemic raging divided the world of sports. For some, the Olympics would have been an inappropriate celebration during plague-like circumstances: what is there to celebrate when you're at war, especially if you're losing? ... For others the Games would have remained a symbol of hope, openness and solidarity at a time when states are shutting themselves off and people have to stay at home. ... Postponing them is a compromise. The Olympic flame has been left in Tokyo - as a beacon of hope in this troubled time.”

Gazeta Sporturilor (RO) /

Virus casts a new light on overpriced games

IOC President Thomas Bach cut a poor figure before the decision was made, Gazeta Sporturilor criticises:

“As with the majority of political leaders who are overwhelmed by events and have become rusty and inflexible in their well-paid posts, Thomas Bach reacted poorly and belatedly. ... Just two days before the announcement he published a long declaration full of slogans and hypocrisy in which he promised that the committee was working hard and there would be a decision on the Olympics in four weeks' time. Bach is working hard to spread the Olympic ideals? We would probably have seen him polishing the five Olympic rings with a billion-dollar feather duster. The post-virus world may give us a whole new perspective on the games. Perhaps we cannot return to the innocent ideals of Pierre De Coubertin, but we can return to the more modest approach of [former IOC president] Avery Brundage. Isolation makes you believe in utopias.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

No vaccine, no sport

For La Repubblica many questions remain open even after the postponement:

“Considering that a number of sporting events have already been postponed from 2020 to 2021, the question now is: when will the games take place? Some talk of March, others of the summer, but either way the calendars for professional championships in football, basketball and tennis are already full and many athletes won't be available. Not to mention the fact that the Olympic Games won't have the same viewing figures if other competitions are taking place at the same time. The most important battle, however, remains that against the virus: how will sport, which lives from the physical presence of human beings, get back into the game? Without a vaccine or an antidote, entering a stadium, a gym or a swimming pool is unthinkable.”