It is official: The Summer Olympics have been postponed until 2021. This is the first time in the 120-plus-year history of the Olympics that they’ve been postponed or canceled by anything other than war.
But this is far from a surprise. The writing was on the wall earlier this week when Canada and Australia pulled out, and several other countries indicated that they’d follow suit if the games weren’t delayed.
No new dates have been announced . . . but officials say it’ll be “beyond 2020, but not later than summer of 2021.” Also, they’ll still be referred to as the “2020 Olympics.”
Supposedly, there was some discussion about just pushing it back to this fall . . . however, NBC’s contract with the Olympics might have prevented that, since it would then conflict with the NFL season.
The Olympic torch relay that was supposed to start later this week has been canceled, but the Olympic flame will remain stored and displayed in Fukushima.
According to Japanese officials, the one-year delay will trigger $5.8 billion in economic losses, and there will be logistical nightmares . . . but it’s still less painful than canceling them outright.
Japan has already spent more than $26 billion to prepare Tokyo for the games.
The last time an Olympics was canceled was in 1944 due to World War 2, and they’ve never been delayed by as long as a year. The 1940 Olympics were initially postponed, but then canceled, also because of World War 2.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach sent out a message of hope to the athletes over the postponement.