Elliott: Postpone the Olympic Games now for the sake of everyone involved

During this global crisis, as the new coronavirus continues to change the way millions of people think and behave, the International Olympic Committee has remained unwaveringly constant in its twisted version of noble principles.

The inspiring Olympic motto ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger’ has a different meaning than those in opulent ivory tower insulation by arrogant choice and not medical guidelines. Faster means how quickly they can collect revenue from the Games. Higher means that they have placed themselves so far above the athletes whose achievements show that they are unaware of the reality that life and training schedules have been turned upside down by the COVID-19 outbreak. Stronger refers to their stubborn and self-centered plan, as stated by IOC President Thomas Bach on Sunday, to last four weeks before deciding whether to continue the Tokyo Summer Games on their scheduled dates from July 24 to August 9.

You don’t have to wait. In these games, the plug must be unplugged and the sooner the better.

Canada knows: The Olympic and Paralympic Committee said on Sunday that it will not send a delegation to Tokyo if the IOC decides that the Games be held on current dates. Postpone today. Conquer tomorrow ” is Team Canada’s new motto.

“This is not just about athletes’ health – it’s about public health,” the committee said in a statement. “With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the wider Canadian athletes community to continue training for these games. It even goes against the health advice that we urgently follow all Canadians. ‘

Australia knows: the Aussies have told their athletes to prepare for the Olympics to be held next year. “It is clear that the Games cannot be held in July,” said Ian Chesterman, Australian chief of mission. “Our athletes were great at their positive attitude towards training and preparation, but the stress and uncertainty was a huge challenge for them.”

USA Track and Field, USA Swimming, the World Athletics Federation, the Olympic Committees of Norway, Brazil, Slovenia and Germany all know it: given the current state of the pandemic, it brings together athletes, coaches, fans, volunteers and officials at close quarters would pose a risk that no one has to take.

The sooner procrastination is announced, the faster athletes can recalibrate their training and dreams. The sooner procrastination is announced, the sooner there is a goal for renewed hope, something to focus on and joyfully anticipate.

The Olympics are about celebrating each athlete’s journey and getting together in friendship. Holding the Games against a backdrop of fear would contradict the Olympic ideal. IOC members have forgotten that, if they ever knew it.

Postponing the Olympics would cause a tangle of complications. Can accommodations for athletes and fans be secured simultaneously next year? Would the locations be available? Will individuals and teams who have already qualified continue to maintain their Olympic place or would a new qualification process begin? What about the TV networks and sponsors that largely fund the Games and keep IOC members at the end of a golden string? Can the whole program simply take a year or is it necessary to reduce the number or number of events?

Those are real concerns, without quick answers. But they are all subordinate to protecting the health and safety of everyone who participates in or participates in the Games.

Postponing the Games soon would allow more time to negotiate with international sports federations and establish rules for qualifying for the 2021 Games. Postponing the Games soon would give more time to detail the details. work with the TV networks and hotel associations.

Answers will not be perfect. Athletes training to achieve peak performance this year may be unable to reach that peak. Some may be injured between this summer and the summer of 2021. Others may not want to postpone their post-competitive life for another year. There should be a way for the IOC to recognize them now and again during the 2021 Games.

As much as we’d be amazed when Simone Biles tumbles and paves her way to more gold medals on the gym floor, as much fun as it might be to add swimmer Katie Ledecky to her medal kick, it can’t happen this summer.

Every day waiting for the IOC to officially announce a reprieve is another day of stress and uncertainty that no one should endure. Thomas Bach, do your duty. Postpone the Games now.

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