VIGEVANO, March 27, 2020 - The task force “Here We Go”, led by John Coates and  Christope Dubi, has begun consultations with the international federations and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee to determine the window in the 2021 international calendar where the Games will be included.
 
TWO HYPOTHESES The task force seems to be leaning towards two working hypotheses: the first is the April-May period and the second, the July-August period.
 
APRIL-MAY This period would avoid major upheavals in the middle of summer and could count on practically perfect environmental conditions. In this case the marathon and race walk events could return to Tokyo, instead of being decentralized to Sapporo. But it would collide with the interests of NBC network, which amounts to billions of dollars. In that period the NBC will be involved in the final part of NBA and NCAA basketball. In addition, in that period of spring many classics are scheduled across various sports. They have been cancelled this year and probably would not be able to withstand postponement or further cancellation and risk ending their glorious history. We must also consider that an Olympics in the spring threatens some sports, such as athletics, with great difficulty because their world competitive activity would be virtually destroyed without providing time for some athletes to reach the entry standards for participation. However, the problem of the Olympic qualification is important for all the federations, which have seen their tournaments postponed this year.
 
JULY-AUGUST It seems the simplest hypothesis, from a certain point of view, but it is equally complicated. It is certainly encouraging that World Athletics and FINA immediately made it known that they are willing to change the dates of their World Championships, but other agreements must be made, because the calendar is choked with events. Perhaps the choice of the second part of August could help. We lived the experience, but almost thirty years ago, at the World Athletics Championships in Tokyo and thirteen years ago in Osaka. The heat was heavy, but the approach of a typhoon created an ultimately acceptable situation. The choice of this period would allow other events to move more easily and would not end up clashing with American football and professional sport. But of course there may be other complications, which we do not know for now.
 
EXPENSES The Japanese Organizing Committee has already put its hands forward: the costs will be very heavy and on this point it is clear that there will be a clash at the beginning. The IOC entered into an insurance contract, which also included the 33 federations concerned, which could come in handy, but logically it will not be enough. Thomas Bach, in his postponement announcement, made it clear that everyone will have to make sacrifices, but for now nobody knows the financial burden that everyone will have to bear.
 
Click to download the calendar "What 2021 international sports calendar looks like now" https://www.aipsmedia.com/healthsystem_project/aips/pages/magazine/calendar.pdf
 
 GIANNI MERLO - AIPS President PHOTO by Getty Images