Immeasurable benefits could be derived from holding the Olympics next year.
Former Philippine Olympic Committee president Celso Dayrit said this following the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Dayrit believes that staging the Olympics in the early months of 2021 will have a positive effect on all stakeholders.
“Though delayed, the 32nd Olympiad will push through (it was not cancelled). This should be good for the Olympic Movement, and to all stakeholders including the IOC, IFs, NOCs, the Japanese people, sponsors and above all, the athletes. As the 32nd Olympic cycle is extended by one year, immeasurable benefits could be derived,” said Dayrit.
Dayrit, the president of the POC from 1999 to 2004, believes that more aspiring individual athletes will get a chance to qualify for the delayed Tokyo Games.
For one, the Philippines only have four athletes qualified for the Games, with around 60 athletes from 19 sports disciplines seeking qualification.
But these qualifiers, just like the Olympiad, have been called off for a later date because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the efforts to contain it.
“More aspiring individual athletes could be given a ‘second chance’ to qualify for the delayed Tokyo Games. In team sports where countries have already qualified, the composition of their team could still be adjusted, giving more athletes the chance to make it to the Olympics,” added Dayrit.
He noted that some international federations may recommend new guidelines to qualify additional athletes who may prove to be deserving by next year.
Because of this, he feels that the possibility of having a “bigger” Olympics in 2021 now looms.
Most of the big IOC sponsors, according to Dayrit, have signed up for at least two Olympic cycles and putting of the Games for next year won’t be that disadvantageous for them.
“More sponsors could even be attracted to come in now as they will benefit from having four Olympic Games (the Winter and Youth Games in 2022, and two summer Games) in the next four years,” explained Dayrit.
As for local sponsors in Japan, they are seen to benefit from an extended period of preparation.
“This could also attract more companies to avail of this last chance to be part of Olympic history,” said Dayrit.
Dayrit said that the Japanese economy has greatly benefitted with the announced postponement as seen in the rebound of their stock market.
So far, government and businesses in Japan have also welcome the postponement.
“… to redeem their investments next year, from an otherwise total loss due to the current pandemic this year. Hotels, airlines, and other services naturally prefer rebooking than cancellation and refunds. And spectators may even choose to hold on to their tickets, rather than lose their rights to their reserved seats next year,” explained Dayrit.
Organizers are currently working on having a proper schedule for the Games.
The International Olympic Committee is planning to have it no later than the summer of 2021.
They are considering to have it take place in the spring, instead of putting it in the normal summer slot.
“This is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table, before and including the summer of 2021,” said IOC president Thomas Bach in a statement.
The IOC and Japanese government gave in last Tuesday to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies as the coronavirus spread around the world and agreed to postpone the games until 2021.