Bleats

Dick Pound, Actual Man, Says Tokyo Olympics Postponed Due To Coronavirus

He thought really long and hard about this.

Okay, let’s be mature about this as this is pretty serious. It hasn’t been an easy time for the Tokyo Olympics and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) due to the coronavirus pandemic. After thinking long and hard about whether to cancel or postpone the Tokyo Olympics until after the coronavirus situation settles, Dick Pound, actual man and longest-standing member of the IOC, has said that the event will indeed be delayed.

Listen to all the details on It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

Chatting to USA Today about the agonising up and down time he’s had due to the coronavirus and all the concerns the pandemic has erected, Dick Pound states that the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed until a later date, saying:

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

This position from Dick Pound and the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympics isn’t too surprising given the escalating coronavirus situation, as well as the premature pull outs of the event from Australia, Britain, and Canada (so far). No one expected any countries to be coming anyway out of safety for its athletes and the crowds had the Olympics been held as planned.

As for when the new dates for the Tokyo Olympics will be confirmed and what those dates will be, Dick Pound says that the matter is out of his and the IOC’s hands due to the fluidity of the coronavirus situation. But proving himself to be a master debater in the face of this rather slippery situation, Dick Pound does say that the IOC hopes to announce something in the coming weeks.

This will be done in “stages” as the IOC continues to poke around for information regarding the coronavirus situation, which is slowly inching onwards in agonising, unsatisfying fashion.

That being said, the IOC and Japan have not given its consent to cancelling the Tokyo Olympics and have stated that different positions will be considered in light of the circumstances.

Look, this is a tough situation for the Tokyo Olympics, Japan, and the IOC given what is at stake here (i.e the billions of dollars involved). It must’ve been hard for Dick Pound to tell the world that the event has been postponed due to the coronavirus, but here’s hoping this whole situation comes to an overall satisfying climax for those involved soon.

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Delaying The Australian Grand Prix's Cancellation Was Just Irresponsible

Cash is king unfortunately.

Let’s get this out of the way first, I’ve been a massive Formula 1 fan for a over a decade and was really looking forward to Lewis Hamilton kick off his season with another win at the 2020 Australian Grand Prix despite the spectre of the coronavirus looming over the entire event.

Listen to the GOAT team break the whole thing down on the latest ep of It’s Been A Big Day For…below:

But over the course of 12 hours, the excitement for the Australian Grand Prix has quickly turned into incredulity and disappointment because of all the drama leading up to the event inevitably getting cancelled.

Things were already dicey well before the Australian Grand Prix weekend due to a coronavirus outbreak in Italy, where Ferrari are based. Yet despite (justified) fears of spreading the disease, the team still made it into Australia in time for the race (a few days before the a travel ban for Italy was implemented coincidentally).

Then on the eve of the Formula 1 race, things went immediately went to DEFCON 5 when a Mclaren team member tested positive for the coronavirus and the entire team pulled out due to safety concerns.

You’d think that the Australian Grand Prix would be cancelled then and there since one of the major drawcards of the weekend had bailed and having the coronavirus in the F1 paddock is a recipe for it spreading like wildfire among all those at the venue given how well over 300,000 people attend the race every year.

Instead, the official word prior to the cancellation of the event is that the Formula 1 event was still going on as per normal yet no spectators are allowed into the venue. What the actual ****?

This went from dicey to sheer recklessness in a very short amount of time and delaying the cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix event is just irresponsible.

In the span of a few hours, what was an already-tense Formula 1 weekend has quickly descended into a farce that saw tense behind-the-scenes politics, F1 journos and figures not knowing what was going on, and drivers saying “f*** this” and leaving the country without a second thought to what happens to the race.

Holding a Formula 1 race behind closed doors isn’t unprecedented as the upcoming 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix plan on doing the same. The difference is that this measure was implemented at the last minute by the Australian Grand Prix as a reaction to the coronavirus rather than a proactive step.

The whole event should’ve been cancelled ahead of time rather than given the go ahead in the first place due to the coronavirus warnings that were evident well ahead of time. By cancelling at the last possible moment despite all the signs is just a massive middle finger to all the fans who spent a heap of money for a weekend in Melbourne and all the health experts who repeatedly warned everyone that it was bad idea from the very start.

Hell, the Australian Grand Prix organisers could’ve still emerged from this car wreck with only a bit of egg on their face had they cancelled the event when Mclaren pulled out after their team member tested positive for coronavirus, yet they dragged it on longer than neccessary.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to money (and boy is there a lot of it at stake with the Australian Grand Prix) and all the relevant parties – Formula 1, the FIA (Formula 1’s governing body), the event organisers, and the local government – refusing to take responsibility (and the bill) for cancelling the event. There’s a lot more at risk here than a Formula 1 race and money.

As Lewis Hamilton said ahead of the event prior to its cancellation due to the coronavirus: cash is king and it is “shocking” Formula 1 was still going ahead while the rest of the world is reacting.

I’ve seen some absolutely insane things go down in the world of Formula 1 over the last decade, yet this is the first time I’ve been so disappointed with the Australian Grand Prix and the governing body’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Things shouldn’t have been pushed as far as it did, and yet it still happened.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Dick Pound, Actual Man, Will Decide If Coronavirus Cancels The Tokyo Olympics

So he's saying the Tokyo Olympics could get shafted?

Okay, there’s no way to do this without breaking out into giggles so let’s just stop beating around the bush and get straight to the point: International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound says the Tokyo Olympics could be cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The GOAT team go through the biggest talking points about the coronavirus on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

According to AP, Dick Pound says Tokyo Olympic organisers had better think long and hard about how they’re handling the coronavirus outbreak or the committee will likely cancel the event altogether rather than postpone or move it.

The (ahem) longest-standing member of the IOC estimates that there will be a two or three-month window in deciding whether the Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled or not, saying:

“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?’

“A lot of things have to start happening. You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios.”

Being a former professional swimmer, it’s clear that Dick Pound isn’t trying to shaft the Tokyo Olympics, he’s merely erecting genuine concerns over the safety of all the athletes and those attending.

While the truth about the coronavirus spreading is a lot to swallow, Dick Pound sounds pretty optimistic that the Tokyo Olympics will continue as normal (for now) and encouraged the 11,000 or so athletes attending to keep training.

As for why the IOC doesn’t just postpone the Tokyo Olympics, Dick Pound says pulling out isn’t an option and nailed that argument right away by saying, “You just don’t postpone something on the size and scale of the Olympics. There’s so many moving parts, so many countries and different seasons, and competitive seasons, and television seasons. You can’t just say, ‘We’ll do it in October.'”

Dick Pound then laid down the hammer hard on why a one-year delay isn’t possibility, saying that Japan is spending a whopping $19 billion to host the Tokyo Olympics and expect to have a good time rather than a premature cancellation.

Ultimately, the fate of the Tokyo Olympics is out of Dick Pound and the IOC’s hands as it all depends on the course the coronavirus takes, so there’s only so much fluffing that can be done at the moment.

Aaaaand breathe. We managed to get through this Dick Pound/Tokyo Olympics/coronavirus story without too much trouble. See, that wasn’t so hard was it?

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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