USOPC Cancels Team USA Summit in Los Angeles Because of Coronavirus Concerns

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2020

A worker is dwarfed by the Olympics Rings on a barge Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in the Odaiba district of Tokyo. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

On Monday, the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee canceled a media summit scheduled to start Sunday because of concerns about the coronavirus outbreak.

Nancy Armour of USA Today reported the news, noting more than 100 athletes were set to appear at the four-day event in Los Angeles.

"As we weighed this decision, we relied on the expert opinion of our USOPC medical staff, our Infectious Disease Advisory Group, CDC professionals and local leaders, and came to the joint conclusion that the potential of spread or infection, however remote or unlikely, could have a real impact on the athletes of Team USA," USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland stated.

A senior member of the International Olympic Committee told Stephen Wade of the Associated Press in February the outright cancellation of the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo was more likely than moving or postponing the Games.

However, Armour pointed out IOC President Thomas Bach said "neither the word 'cancellation' nor the word 'postponement' was even mentioned" during a recent executive board meeting.

Los Angeles County declared a local and public health emergency Wednesday. The BNP Paribas Open set to take place in Indian Wells, California, from Monday through March 22 was postponed Sunday.

Concerns about the coronavirus have impacted a number of sports in the United States, as Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League issued a joint statement Monday announcing they were limiting access to locker rooms to only players and essential personnel:

According to CNN, the coronavirus has led to the deaths of more than 3,800 people and infected more than 108,000.

The Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 24 through Aug. 9, while the Paralympics will take place from Aug. 25 through Sept. 6.