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Discussion about Olympic cancellation: postponed postponement

Canada's Olympic Committee will not send its athletes to the Olympic Games. The IOC is under increasing pressure.

, Discussion about Olympic cancellation: postponed postponement
Time comes, advice comes: IOC boss Thomas Bach's strategy Photo: Jean-Christophe Bott / dpa

Time play is a less promising strategy in the days and weeks of exponentially growing curves of corona sufferers. Since Sunday, the postponement of the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 24th to August 9th) has officially been a possible scenario for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the first time, but it will only be decided in the course of the next four weeks. IOC boss Thomas Bach said on Sunday: “Human lives have priority, especially before the games are played. The IOC wants to be part of the solution. ” 

Neither the athletes nor the sports associations and the respective National Olympic committees are likely to show such long-suffering. After Germany’s athlete spokesman and fencer Max Hartung on the weekend his individual waiver of summer games this, the Canadian Olympic Committee announced on Sunday on its website that it would only send its athletes to Japan if there was a delay. The Canadian Paralympic Committee followed the decision for the Paralympics. Such decisions could be exemplary. 

It is becoming apparent that the decision is being taken from the hand of the IOC piece by piece and the umbrella organization has to accept a major loss of authority. The German Olympic Sports Association (DOSB) asked its athletes at the weekend to vote in favor of or against the scheduled staging of the summer games. “The DOSB is doing very well,” Hartung praised the umbrella organization and said to the vote: “There is a clear commitment to include the vote of the athletes in the DOSB’s position on the games. It is unique in the world. ” 

Interviewing the athletes 

It is foreseeable that German athletes will speak out for a shift. And then the DOSB could hardly ignore it. 

The mood among athletes is quite clear not only in Germany. Javelin throw Olympic champion Thomas Röhler, who is also the athletes’ spokesman for the World Athletics Association, said on Monday morning on ZDF: “We athletes – internationally I can speak for athletics – are of the opinion that 2021 currently offers maximum security.” present this in a video conference scheduled for Monday evening to Sebastian Coe, head of the international association. 

The pressure on the IOC is growing from all sides. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had told the Tokyo parliament on Monday that a postponement must be expected. It is difficult under the current circumstances to run the games. The decision was made by the IOC. 

Dagmar Freitag, chairman of the Bundestag’s sports committee, called the IOC’s hesitant stance “disrespectful” and “irresponsible” to the athletes. The SPD politician spoke of “blatant leadership failure”.