The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound told USA today: “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound’s revelation follows a string of announcements from Olympic Associations around the world – including those in Canada, Australia and Great Britain – who said they were either completely unwilling or highly unlikely to send athletes to Japan in a few months’ time.
According to the USA today report, the IOC has said it will take four weeks to determine and release further information on the future of the summer Games. Pound said in his interview: “It will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
ESPN reported this week that Japan is officially spending around $12.6 billion to organize the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but a national audit has suggested a figure almost twice that size. The IOC’s postponement will surely add to that bill. The sports news outlet also noted that the IOC has a reserve fund of approximately $2 billion to get it through unprecedented scenarios like this, while also carrying insurance against postponement or cancellation.
Reuters reported in February that the IOC takes out approximately $800 million of insurance protection for each Summer Games, covering most of the roughly $1 billion investment it makes in host cities. Insurance sources told Reuters that the IOC would have paid a premium of around 2% or 3%, costing around $24 million.