Coronavirus: Trump planning to be there to see 'fantastic' Tokyo Olympics

By Sports Desk March 25, 2020

Donald Trump is planning to attend what he predicts will be a "fantastic" Tokyo Olympics, despite the delay caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed on Tuesday that the Games, scheduled to start on July 24, would not go ahead as planned due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The decision was made following discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach, Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe and organisers, though a new date is yet to be announced.

A special task force has been set up to work out the best time to stage the Olympics, though they will be no later than the summer of 2021.

Whenever the Games do take place, United States President Trump – who praised the postponement decision – intends to be there to witness the occasion for himself.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympics, 2021," Trump said during his media briefing on Wednesday.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympics, it was the absolute right decision to delay it for a full year and now have a full, beautiful Olympics.

"It's going to be very important because it's probably the first time maybe ever or certainly in a long time that it was on an odd year, it's always on an even year they tell me, but he's going to have a fantastic success and now they'll have even more time, he didn't need any more time, everything was perfectly ready, what a job they've done.

"I want to congratulate Japan, the IOC and prime minister Abe on a great decision.

"I think it's going to be a fantastic Olympics, I told him I'll be there, I'll be there."

Bach has said "all the options are on the table" when it comes to a new date for the first Olympics to not go ahead as scheduled since the Second World War.

"This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle and every piece has to fit," he said during a conference call. "You take out one piece, the whole puzzle is destroyed.

"Everything has to come together and everything is important. This is why I really do not envy the members of this taskforce in their work."

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Trump unsure when sport will resume, thinks it'll be 'sooner rather than later' Coronavirus: Trump unsure when sport will resume, thinks it'll be 'sooner rather than later'

    United States president Donald Trump is unsure when sport can resume in the country, but hopes it is "sooner rather than later".

    With the coronavirus pandemic having brought sport to a standstill around the world, Trump spoke with leaders of the USA's leagues and organisations via a call on Saturday.

    The NBA, NHL, MLS, PGA Tour and NASCAR seasons were among those suspended, while the start of the MLB campaign was pushed back and there are concerns over the NFL.

    Trump hopes to see sport resume shortly, telling a media conference: "I want fans back in the arenas.

    "Whenever we're ready, as soon as we can obviously and the fans want to be back too, they want to see basketball and baseball and football and hockey, they want to see their sports.

    "They want to go out onto the golf courses and breathe nice, clean, beautiful fresh air."

    Asked about a possible resumption, Trump said: "I can't tell you a date.

    "But I think it's going to be sooner rather than later. We're not going to have to have separation for the rest of our times on the planet.

    "We need it for this period of time, but eventually people are going to be able to occupy those seats in arenas next to each other, like we have for all of my life and all of your life."

    More than 64,000 people have died from coronavirus worldwide, with the death toll in the USA exceeding 8,400.

  • Coronavirus: Ben Ainslie believes Olympics postponement will be a relief to athletes Coronavirus: Ben Ainslie believes Olympics postponement will be a relief to athletes

    Ben Ainslie expects athletes set to compete at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will be relieved by the postponement.

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has pushed the Games back by 12 months due to the spread of coronavirus, which has infected over a million people worldwide.

    Sailor Ainslie, a four-time Olympic champion, has backed the decision and feels competitors will be grateful for the clarity the switch brings.

    He told Stats Perform: "If you were in the IOC's position and Tokyo's position it must have been an incredibly tough decision when you think about the scheduling, the preparations, dare I say it the commercial impact, although that shouldn't really be the main consideration I'm sure it would have been a big consideration.

    "The fact they came to a decision relatively early, I think they deserve some credit for that.  

    “I think it was absolutely the right decision. It was clearly going to be a massive risk as planned. Then if you look at a six-month delay, you're competing in the middle of the winter in Japan which isn't going to work for a lot of sports, so I absolutely agree with the decision.

    "What does it mean for the athletes and competitors? I think most of them, frankly, will just be relieved there's certainty.

    "It would have been a massive risk if they'd tried to continue and gambled on the virus clearing away in time for the games.

    "So, I think there'll be relief and they'll start now planning what does the next 18 months look like for them in terms of their programme.

    "We talk a lot about peaking in sport. They would have all been working up to peaking this summer. Now they are probably going to have to, not take their foot off the gas, but they're going to have to reschedule their programmes to make sure that they're then ramping back up for the games.

    "Also, what will the event schedule look like next year? It's unlikely there'll be that many events for the rest of this year, so how do they get their race practice up in 2021?

    "So, some challenges there, but if I were an Olympian I'd frankly be bloody relieved they've come to the right decision and it was going ahead still." 

  • Bogut 'still very keen' to play at Olympics despite postponement Bogut 'still very keen' to play at Olympics despite postponement

    Australia star Andrew Bogut is "still very keen" to play at the Olympics despite the Tokyo Games being pushed back until 2021.

    Bogut, 35, was expected to lead the Boomers at the Olympics this year, but the Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    It led to questions over Bogut's future, but the Olympics remain a goal for the veteran, an NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors in 2015.

    "I'm still very keen. Obviously the plans for me were to get to the Olympics this year and then reassess," he told SEN on Thursday.

    "That's been thrown out of the window. I'm still up in the air about exactly what I'm going to do and how I go about my journey getting there and all that, I still haven't decided one way or another.

    "I think it's going to be a moving parts type thing and I think the main priority right now is to get this pandemic squashed.

    "Then, we can all make real-world decisions about our jobs and our families and all that kind of stuff, but until that happens it's kind of senseless to make decisions based on not knowing when the future's going to be open slather again."

    Australia have never won a medal in men's basketball at the Olympics, but finished fourth at the Rio Games in 2016.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.