IOC Sets April Deadline for Tokyo Olympics Decision amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMarch 22, 2020

Three-time Olympic gold medalists Tadahiro Nomura, right, and Saori Yoshida light the torch during Olympic Flame Arrival Ceremony at Japan Air Self-Defense Force Matsushima Base in Higashimatsushima in Miyagi Prefecture, north of Tokyo Friday, March 20, 2020. The Olympic flame from Greece is set to arrive in Japan even as the opening of the the Tokyo Games in four months is in doubt with more voices suggesting the games should to be postponed or canceled because of the worldwide virus pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

The International Olympic Committee will give itself until mid-April to decide whether to move forward with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to Devin Heroux of CBC Sports.

The Games are currently scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9, but the global pandemic has led to shutdowns around the world.

According to the World Health Organization, there have been over 260,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide as of Sunday, leading to over 11,000 deaths.

While major sporting events have been postponed or canceled in order to slow the spread of the disease, the 2020 Olympics have mostly been continuing as planned.

More than 50,000 people gathered at Sendai station in Miyagi, Japan, to see the lighting of the Olympic flame Saturday, per CNA.

In addition to health concerns at the Olympics, there could be logistical problems with many qualifying events being canceled. Per Heroux, only 57 percent of spots have been filled for Tokyo.

The head of USA Swimming and the head of USA Track and Field have each called for a postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Though the IOC is holding out before making a decision, it has at least set a deadline to hopefully reduce uncertainty going forward.

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