Defer the Olympics an economic and organizational dilemma


The International Olympic Committee and Japan announced the postponement of this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, after increasing demands by athletes, in a precedent outside wartime, that are likely to cause enormous economic repercussions after the years of preparation.

The announcement came with a joint statement between the two parties, after a telephone conversation between German International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The two parties did not specify a new date for the session, but it was agreed that it be postponed “until after 2020, but not later than the summer of 2021”.

The following is a presentation of the biggest challenges posed by the postponement of the Olympics, which was scheduled between July 24 and August 9, 2020:

Reschedule competitions

Inside the Games, the sports website described the Olympics as “centered around a four-year cycle. If one day I wake up and the sun is in a totally different place, there will inevitably be repercussions.”

The International Olympic Committee has announced that deferral is an option, but has given itself four weeks to make the final decision. It was found that the four weeks were less than 48 hours. Bach justified two days ago not to announce the postponement immediately, that such a step requires huge amendments and extensive discussions, before a new date can be set.

Holding the Olympics in the summer of 2021, as required by many sports parties, will be a nightmare for athletes and owners of television broadcasting rights, given that this year mainly includes several sports dates.

In the event that the games are postponed to next summer, they may conflict with the World Athletics Championships scheduled in the United States in August, but the International Federation of “Mother of the Games” confirmed that it had started discussing the possibility of adjusting the tournament’s date, in coordination with the host city of Oregon.

The world swimming championships are also scheduled to be held in Japan between July 16 and August 1, 2021, in addition to that the European Cup and the Copa America soccer tournaments were scheduled in the summer of 2020, were postponed to the summer of next year, due to the outbreak of the new Corona virus.

Former American runner Carl Lewis, crowned with nine Olympic golds, proposed holding the Summer Games in 2022, the same year that the Winter Olympics is scheduled to be held in the Chinese capital, Beijing.

It is noteworthy that 2022 is also the year of a major sporting event is the FIFA World Cup Finals, which will be held later in the year in Qatar.

Stadiums and facilities

The games will be held at 43 Olympic facilities, some of which are temporary, some are specially built for the event, and others will be reused for various purposes after the Games, all of which will face difficult challenges in the event of a delay.

The ICRC highlighted this issue and warned that “a number of the facilities we need for the games may not be available” in the event of a delay.

For example, one of the major ticket sales points for the new Olympic stadium, with a capacity of 68,000 fans, will become a venue for “cultural and sports events” when the Olympics are over. Therefore, any event scheduled for it will have to be transferred to another location in conjunction with a new date for the games.

And not only the sports facilities, as the organizers reserved a huge exhibition center in Tokyo to turn it into the press center that is expected to be used by thousands while covering the global event.

The Big Site is one of the largest in Asia, hosting major conferences and events, and it is usually reserved months ago. It will be a big challenge for the organizers to change the date of his reservation for the Olympic Games, or to persuade those who previously booked him to move to another place (in case the two dates are opposed).

Olympic Village

Many questions revolve around the fate of the Olympic Village built on expensive real estate overlooking Tokyo Bay, skyscrapers and the famous “rainbow” bridge.

The village includes 21 buildings consisting of 14 to 18 floors with a total capacity of 18 thousand beds during the Olympic Games and eight thousand for the Paralympic Games.

The plan was to rehabilitate the village and convert it into thousands of luxury private apartments and offer them for sale or rent. The first batch of 940 apartments were put up for sale at the beginning of the summer of 2019, and most of them were sold out, according to Japanese press reports.

In light of the postponement of the games, the organizers will have to postpone the qualification works, and consequently delay the delivery of the apartments to the buyers who have previously signed contracts.


Among the “many, many” challenges mentioned by the ICRC are hotel reservations that cost millions and that will be “very difficult to deal with”.

Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, there was concern in Japan that there would not be enough hotel rooms for those attending the games, and it was suggested that a cruise ship be docked and used as a floating hotel. But it seems that this idea has become excluded, especially after it was recorded that more than 600 people on board the “Diamond Princess” cruise ship “Covid-19”, and put more than three thousand people in quarantine on board for several weeks.

Many hotel rooms were booked many months ago, with many paying huge sums as a first payment that they might lose, in addition to having to re-book again in light of the postponement of the games.

It is feared that the hotel sector will face a major crisis due to the postponement of the Olympics, knowing that it is already suffering from a decline in reservations due to the sharp drop in the number of tourists due to the outbreak of the “Covid-19” virus that killed more than 17,000 people, and caused extensive restrictions on movement and travel. .

Is it on the positive side?

Holding the Olympics in a period other than summer may solve a dilemma that posed a major concern in the Tokyo session, which is the hot weather the country is witnessing in this season. This could allow the marathon to be returned to the Japanese capital after it was moved to the northern city of Sapporo, which is in milder weather, for fear of the impact of extreme heat and high humidity on the safety of the runners.

Postponing the games will give sports federations around the world time to prepare for the qualifiers and qualifiers, which has been a source of concern for many athletes as they are unable to train in natural conditions.

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