The small city of Lausanne in Switzerland is home of the International Olympic Committee headquarters and on Wednesday a press conference was held and all noise from IOC President Thomas Bach points towards Tokyo 2020 taking place as planned despite the global outbreak of Coronavirus.
As expected a lotto the questions thrown the way of the IOC were about coronavirus but they remain firm on the matter the Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.
When asked by a journalist why there are so sure the games will go ahead as planned Bach replied:
“Because we’re in contact with all these leading experts, the WHO is a member of the joint task force, & based on this info we’re fully committed to success of the Games.”
Later on he went onto say about cancelling or postponing the games:
“Neither the word cancellation nor the word postponement were mentioned today.”
And finally if the virus worsened would a delay in the delivery of the games be likely?:
“I will not take part in any way in mere speculations.”
During the press conference Bach did say he has dealt with issues and delivered games before with tough issues before which include as per his examples, Zika virus before Rio 2016 and the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsular before Pyeonchang 2018. However this is on a bigger global scale.
The spread since the outbreak in Wuhan has been massive. It has recently hit the UK and Ireland and has become a big problem in Italy with 11 small towns in lockdown and all sport having to be played behind closed doors for a month in order to contain the virus.
Since the outbreak in Wuhan and to date (4th March) there have been over 90,000 cases of the virus with over 3000 fatalities.
The surprise from the press conference was that there was no talk of admittance from the IOC that a thought about moving the Olympics is possible.
I do imagine that in the IOC there have been contingency talks about a potential plan to move the event to potentially September/October time but how would that impact fans that have booked tickets and accommodation and athletes as it may force some not to be able to attend.
Bach did say they have been in contact with WHO (World Health Organisation) and based on the info they have received are fully committed to the success of the 2020 Olympic Games.