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The president of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, Yoshiro Mori, bristled at the suggestion that the Olympics could be cancelled due to the outbreak of coronavirus. He said during an International Olympic Committee (IOC) project review, “I would like to make it clear again that we are not considering postponing or cancelling the Games”.
He referred to the suggestion of cancelling as irresponsible rumours.
Games officials have said several times that the Olympics “will take place as scheduled”.
Hundreds of people in China have been killed by the virus. The epicenter of the virus continues to be Wuhan, China – China is not Japan.
The virus has caused the cancellation of other events, including the Formula One Grand Prix in Shanghai and the World Indoor Athletics Championships to take place in Nanjing and is postponed to 2021.
A bigger issue might be around the lack of travel available to Chinese athletes and coaches for competition leading up to the summer games starting Friday, July 24 and ending on Sunday, Aug. 9.
SHOESTRINGS: As an another global championships is within site, more potential scandals emerge. During the past two Olympics, intersex athletes and their domination in women’s events have taken the stage, doping is always an ongoing sideshow that often threatens to erupt and now there is coronavirus, not a scandal per se, but a hot news topic nonetheless.
Watch for the Nike Vaporfly to become a major story leading up to the games (if it isn’t already) in the upcoming marathon and outdoor track seasons. Will competing shoe companies ramp up their design to sub-40mm heights and carbon plates to compete with Nike? How shameful would it be for athletes to continue to drop their endorsement contracts so that they can wear Nike shoes? To make it an even playing field.
Will the wearing of vaporflys/alphaflys et al be considered technical cheating? Nike’s influence may be overwhelming. In swimming FINA dealt with the bodysuit crisis. Major League Baseball (MLB) had corked bats and steroid-using home-run hitters, the National Football League (NFL) had deflate gate. Is the Nike shoe going to be the crisis of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics?
Watch as the news on the shoes escalates.