TOKYO — No Summer Olympics at all?
That could very well be the case due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that will affect the U.S. women’s national team.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach appears to have accepted that the Summer Games will have to be held next year — or not at all.
“You cannot forever employ 3,000 or 5,000 people in an organizing committee,” Bach told the BBC. “You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule, worldwide, of all the major federations. You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty.
“What could this mean for the life in an Olympic Village?” he said. “All these different scenarios are under consideration and this is why I’m saying it’s a mammoth task, because there are so many different options that it’s not easy to address them [now].
“When we have a clear view on how the world will look on July 23, 2021, then [we will] take the appropriate decisions.”
No Summer Olympics would have huge implications for the U.S. women, which qualified for Tokyo earlier this year. The USWNT have written the story of the women’s tournament in the Summer Games, having won four gold medals (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012) and a silver (2000). The Americans were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.
The U.S. men were to compete in the Concacaf Under-23 Championship in March, but that has been delayed due to the pandemic.
In March, the IOC and Japanese government decided to delay the Games, which had been due to start in July, for a year due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. The last Olympics that was not held was in 1940, which had been scheduled for Tokyo, which had been cancelled due to World War II.