With many countries on or close to lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, sports leagues around the globe have ground to a halt for the foreseeable future. So have the Olympic Games been cancelled?
Short answer: No.
Not yet, anyway.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said: “To safeguard the health of all involved and to contribute to the containment of Covid-19, the IOC will step up its scenario-planning for the Olympic Games.
Bach stressed that he does not see cancellation as an option, saying it would “destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes from all 206 National Olympic Committees”.
He added: “Cancellation would not solve any problem and would help nobody. Therefore it is not on our agenda.”
What about a postponement?
It was confirmed on March 24 that the Olympic Games will be postponed.
Bach explained the Games “cannot be moved like a football game next Saturday”.
“It is a complex undertaking and you can only act responsibly when you have a clear decision-making foundation,” he added.
Prior to the postponement, Canada had become the first country to confirm it will not be sending a team for the Olympics and Paralympics.
#TeamCanada will not send athletes to Games in summer 2020 due to COVID-19 risks.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) March 23, 2020
And it was difficult to imagine others wouldn’t follow suit.
Have the Olympic Games been cancelled before?
Yes, on three occcasions. The Berlin Olympics of 1916 were cancelled due to the first world war, while the 1940 Games, originally awarded to Tokyo and then to Helsinki, were called off due to the second conflict, as were the 1944 Games due to be competed in London.
How will postponing the Olympic Games affect the golf calendar?
The wording is interesting: “A date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.” The average temperature in Tokyo in January and February is 10°C and would be by far the best result for golf, which is generally quiet in these months.
With the Masters and PGA Championship already postponed and slated for September/October slots, pushing the Olympics back a couple of months would have caused quite a headache, and it may now mean the Ryder Cup, in late September, stays in its original slot despite reports that it too will shift back to 2021.
Which golfers are currently qualified?
- Related: How to qualify for the Olympics
With Olympic qualification suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak, the golf line-up is much different to Rio four years previous.
Defending champion Justin Rose would be set to miss out, as would bronze medallist Matt Kuchar.
Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrrell Hatton are projected to represent Great Britain against a strong field that includes Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Brooks Koepka, Francesco Molinari, and 2016’s silver medal winner Henrik Stenson.
Here’s who is in as it stands, courtesy of ‘Nosferatu’ on Twitter:
One way I used to explain what my projection means, was that if there is no more golf until 22-Jun, then THIS IS THE FINAL LIST OF QUALIFIERS!
See what I meant now..? pic.twitter.com/q0XQWYQ3VJ
— Nosferatu (@VC606) March 16, 2020
[post_list category=58 title=””]
Could the golf ball be rolled back for everyone?