Tokyo Olympics – to proceed or not?

As we were going to press, the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics organizers and officials of the various International Federations are still in a quandary whether to proceed as scheduled.

The Summer Games are slated to unfold July this year, that’s about four months away.

While these sports authorities are still mulling it over in consideration of the world-wide adverse and harmful effects of CoVid-19, it should not make it difficult for them to decide if they only scan the statistics of the dead, the sick and dying from among the more than 100 countries affected by the menace.

The Olympic flame turnover ceremonies were done simply, in a scaled down rite in Athens, Greece where Spyros Capralos, president of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, gave the torch to Japanese swimmer Imoto Naoko who will carry it in behalf of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee.

The Olympic flag was raised and the national anthems of Japan and Greece were played one after the other in the iconic Panthenaic Stadium.

The planned event did not include colorful cultural presentations as were the tradition because of the corona virus pandemic.

Capralos’ short message was emotionally delivered, saying: “I wish to believe that the journey of the Olympic flame in your country will offer joy and hope to the people of the whole world, who are currently in pain and challenged.”

The Torch Relay is a glorious tradition of the Olympics where a chosen athlete of the host country receives and brings the Olympic torch to his country by transferring it to a bespoke, rose gold lantern which will transport it to Japan.

The indecisiveness of IOC officials and their counterparts in the IFs (International Federation) and the hosts in arriving at a collective opinion is creating a tentative stance among athletes preparing for the Games.

Here, I am sure that the POC, even if it wants to send a delegation should the Olympics proceed as scheduled, may opt not to go for fear of jeopardizing their athletes’ health and theirs too.

After all, staying alive, as the music goes, is far worthier doing than compete in a “crazily plagued” contest (pun intended).

Seriously, I pray the IOC, the IFs and the Tokyo guys must agree NOW – as time is of the essence – whether to postpone and reset the July Olympics playdate.

While it is true that every sports infrastructure is already in place, including the meticulous and elaborate opening and closing programs, the health and welfare of the athletes and delegates are more paramount.

Come on, guys. The Corona virus, even assuming it is liquidated in a month’s time, will still remain like a Damocles sword hovering above the heads of every participant and spectator alike.

And it will certainly affect the performance of each athlete who will be attempting to break or equal a record in his/her respective Olympic event.

So, for all intents and purposes, yours truly is in favor of resetting the July sked of the Tokyo Olympics, say, November?

Just my two cents worth. ### (Email your feedback to fredlumba@yahoo.com.) GOD BLESS THE PHILIPPINES!