IOC member Pound not sure if Olympics will go ahead

By Sports Desk January 08, 2021

International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound is uncertain whether the Tokyo Games will be able to go ahead.

After the Olympics were postponed in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, they have been rescheduled for this year, with events due to run in Japan's capital from July 23 to August 8.

However, COVID-19 has continued to surge globally with new variants of the virus forcing multiple countries back into lockdown situations.

The outcome of the debate about whether athletes are given priority access to vaccinations, which have just begun to be rolled out in major nations, could prove decisive.

"I can't be certain because the ongoing elephant in the room would be the surges in the virus," Pound said, per BBC Sport, about whether the Games would go ahead.

The comments from Pound came as Japan declared a one-month state of emergency for Tokyo and surrounding regions.

"The situation has become increasingly troubling nationwide and we have a strong sense of crisis," said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who had recently vowed to hold a "safe and secure" Olympics.

Pound, who is the longest-serving member of the committee, added the vaccine debate might be different in each competing nation.

He said to Sky News: "It is a decision for each country to make and there will be people saying they [athletes] are jumping the queue [for a vaccine].

"But I think that is the most realistic way of it going ahead.

"In Canada, where we might have 300 or 400 athletes, to take 300 or 400 vaccines out of several million in order to have Canada represented at an international event of this stature, character and level – I don't think there would be any kind of a public outcry about that.

"Athletes are important role models, and by taking the vaccine they can send a powerful message that vaccination is not only about personal health, but also about solidarity and consideration for the wellbeing of others in their communities."

Related items

  • Retiring at Wimbledon or the Olympics would be fitting, says Murray Retiring at Wimbledon or the Olympics would be fitting, says Murray

    Andy Murray has said it would be fitting to call time on his glistening tennis career at Wimbledon or the Paris Olympics this year. 

    The 37-year-old has prevailed in both competitions during his professional career, becoming the first British winner of the men's singles title since Fred Perry in 1936 at Wimbledon in 2013.

    Murray also won gold on two occasions for Team GB in London 12 years ago and the Rio games in 2016. But when asked if he would compete in the US Open or the Davis Cup, he said: "I don’t think so.

    "Probably if I was going to finish my career I would rather finish at Wimbledon or an Olympic Games - to me that would probably be more fitting."

    "I've had amazing experiences and memories from Wimbledon, but also being part of British Olympics teams."

    The former world number one will take part in the Queen's Club Championships and faces Alexei Popyrin on Monday, but revealed that he will not be playing as much over the next few months. 

    He said: "My plans haven't really changed. I'm not planning to playing much past this summer. I'll see how I feel in the next couple of weeks. There are lots of things to factor in to retirement from sport.

    "I think in lots of careers, retirement is something you celebrate and people really look forward to that day – that's not something I feel. I love playing tennis.

    "Ultimately, if physically you're not able to play to the level you want to, the results are not as you wish, those things factor into the decision."

  • Record-breaking Pryce is SEC Track Athlete of the Year, Chris Johnson, Coach of the Year Record-breaking Pryce is SEC Track Athlete of the Year, Chris Johnson, Coach of the Year

    The University of Arkansas celebrated a stellar year in track and field with significant South Central Region honours for the 2024 outdoor season. Senior sprinter Nickisha Pryce was named Track Athlete of the Year, while first-year head coach Chris Johnson was recognized as Coach of the Year, capping off an extraordinary season for the NCAA Division 1 Women's Champions.

    Pryce, a standout athlete from St. Mary, Jamaica, entered the outdoor season with a personal best of 50.21 in the 400m. She made remarkable improvements, culminating in a collegiate and Jamaican record of 48.89 seconds, which she set while winning the NCAA 400m title. Pryce's victory spearheaded an unprecedented Arkansas sweep of the top four spots in the event, earning the Razorbacks a crucial 29 points towards their team total.

    Throughout the season, Pryce demonstrated consistent progress, achieving career-best marks of 50.13, 49.72, 49.32, and finally 48.89. Her extraordinary performances were pivotal as Arkansas amassed 61 of its 63 championship points on the final day of the NCAA Championships. This remarkable achievement allowed Coach Johnson and his team to complete a sweep of the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor team championships in his debut season as head coach.

    In addition to her NCAA title, Pryce also secured the SEC 400m title with a time of 49.32, which at the time ranked third on the collegiate all-time list. Her dominance in the 400m was instrumental in Arkansas's 1-2-3-5 finish at the SEC Championships, contributing 28 points to the team’s total.

    Pryce's achievements have cemented her place in history as the first collegian and first Jamaican to run under 49 seconds in the 400m. She surpassed the 22-year-old Jamaican record of 49.30 set by Lorraine Fenton in 2002.

    Her time of 48.89 also eclipsed the previous collegiate record of 49.13 set by fellow Razorback Britton Wilson in 2023. On the 2024 world list, Pryce ranks second behind Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone, who recorded a time of 48.75. Pryce’s time also ties her for 13th on the all-time world list alongside Mexico’s Ana Guevara from 2003.

    The culmination of Arkansas's season was highlighted by an emphatic victory in the 4 x 400m relay at the NCAA Championships, where the Razorbacks set a collegiate record and world-leading time of 3:17.96. Pryce's impressive third-leg split of 49.19 was crucial in securing the title. This performance broke the previous collegiate record of 3:21.92 set by Arkansas at the NCAA West meet, narrowly surpassing Kentucky’s 3:21.93 from the 2022 SEC meet.

    Coach Chris Johnson's leadership was instrumental in guiding the Razorbacks to these historic achievements. Under his guidance, Arkansas scored in eight different events to capture the NCAA outdoor team title, edging out Florida by four points. This victory followed their triumph at the NCAA Indoor meet, where they won by five points.

  • Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opens season with 11.15 sprint at French Foray meeting Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce opens season with 11.15 sprint at French Foray meeting

    Three-time Olympic gold medallist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce made a triumphant return to the track with a controlled sprint of 11.15 seconds at the French Foray Meeting held at the National Stadium on Saturday night. This performance comes less than two weeks before the start of the Jamaica national championships, which will determine the team representing Jamaica at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

    The 38-year-old sprinting legend, who boasts a lifetime best of 10.60 seconds, was making an extraordinarily late start to her season. Despite this, Fraser-Pryce, running with her right knee and lower-thigh strapped with kenisio tape, demonstrated her enduring talent by shaking off the rust and securing victory against a competitive field. Jodean Smith, clocking in at 11.20 seconds, finished second, while schoolgirl Sabrina Dockery took third place with a time of 11.46 seconds.

    In the men's sprints, Bouwahjgie Nkrumie emerged as the fastest athlete of the night with a time of 10.21 seconds. Sandray Davison was close behind, recording a time of 10.25 seconds, while De Andre Daley achieved a season-best of 10.26 seconds to finish third. Notably, Ackeem Blake, despite stumbling out of the blocks in Nkrumie's heat, managed to recover and post a respectable time of 10.30 seconds.

     

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.