France's swimming federation on Saturday joined its U.S. counterpart in calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic, adding to pressure on the IOC.
In an editorial titled, "The Olympics must be canceled or postponed", the Post said the pursuit of an on-schedule July 24 start of the games during the current coronavirus pandemic has inspired some "magical thinking" by the International Olympic Committee and the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
But everyone's hand might be forced by a COVID-19 pandemic that, so far, has infected more than 266,000 people, with more than 11,000 deaths, worldwide.
Underscoring the difficulty athletes face in finding safe and suitable facilities, Hirshland confirmed that both USOPC training centres, including the one where its headquarters is located in Colorado Springs, have been closed by the outbreak.
"The right and responsible thing to do is to prioritize everyone's health and safety and appropriately recognize the toll this hard situation has, and continues to take, on our athletes and their Olympic Games preparations".
Responding to the USA Swimming letter, USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland and USOPC chair Susanne Lyons said they are following the International Olympic Committee's position that it is too soon to make a final call on the Games, whose opening ceremonies are scheduled for July 24. "NOC*NSF is aware of our way of thinking", he told NOS.nl. While the COVID-19 has already shattered the sporting calendar, the discussions and debate relating to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics has started to heat up.
"Of course we are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are four-and-a-half months away from the Games", Bach said.
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But authorities did not expect to find severe damage in most structures, said Doughtery, the emergency management spokesman. Dozens of aftershocks followed, one reaching magnitude 4.5. "No injuries have been reported to Church employees".
Many qualifications events have been postponed because of the coronavirus. "I mean, we're only a week in this country", he added. The inequality opens the question of whether it would be fair to hold the Olympics or even the Tour de France.
"The IOC wants us to keep risking our health, our family's health and public health to train every day?"
In a letter to the US Olympic and Paralympic Committee, USA Track and Field chief executive Max Siegel said forging ahead with Olympic preparations "would not be in the best interest of our athletes". "We as a cycling federation can send the strongest and most promising delegation ever".
"We don't have to make a decision".
"We are trying to be as prepared as we can be for any variety of potential outcomes", said Hirshland.
With the exception of the two world wars, the Olympics have never been canceled since they began in their modern guise in 1896.
Opinions seem to be equally mixed in Japan, where the Olympic flame arrived by plane from Greece on Friday.