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IOC Would be Wise to Cancel 2021 Summer Games
Syracuse University Sport Management Professor Rick Burton says pandemic creates unlevel playing field for all Olympic nations.
For your coverage of the possible cancelation of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, please consider the comments below from Rick Burton, the David B. Falk Professor of Sport Management at Syracuse University’s Falk College. Burton has been quoted on this topic previously and is available for interview. Please contact email@example.com to arrange.
“It is aspirational for the IOC to want to hold the Olympics next summer. It gives us hope and an opportunity for global sports fans to look forward to better days ahead and no one can fault the IOC for that. However, holding the Games next summer (2021) would also fail to acknowledge the magnitude of how bad the virus could still get, particularly if the world endures a distinct flu season during the Northern Hemisphere fall. None of us needs an alarmist or pessimist out ‘howling’ about this matter. But the IOC can only be seen as acting wisely to cancel the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games rather than delay again until 2022.
We still don’t know how badly this pandemic will impact other global zones including numerous countries that always compete in the Olympics. If the pandemic spikes at different times in different zones, creating a devastating staggering, it will produce an unlevel playing field for the athletes. That could mean some Olympians would be cleared to resume regular training activities at different points of time. That advantage would not fit the Olympic ideal.
At issue here for the IOC is not knowing how bad this pandemic may still become in the absence of a vaccine. Statistics in countries like China, Italy and the U.S. have been horrific but could pale compared to what may still lie ahead for dense urban settings where individuals cannot practice social distancing. These countries, long-time participants in the Summer Olympics, could see spikes in fatalities that are unimaginable. That kind of outcome, akin to the daily fatalities witnessed during the Civil War, WWI or WWII, leads to a logical decision by the IOC and Host Organizing Committee.”