'Bigger' Tokyo 2020 Olympics is possible, says former POC chief
MANILA, Philippines – After years of being immersed in the sports scene, former Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Celso Dayrit looks at the bright side of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics delay.
According to Dayrit, the postponement may actually benefit the Olympic movement as
"the possibility of having a 'bigger' Olympics in 2021 looms."
Dayrit lists "immeasurable benefits" that can emerge from the pushback.
1. Second chances
As the coronavirus pandemic disrupted several sports tournaments, including the Olympic qualifiers, these tournaments can be rescheduled within the year, giving athletes more chances to nail a berth in the quadrennial meet.
This is the case for 2019 women's world boxing champion Nesthy Petecio, who missed out on an Olympic berth in the Asian qualifiers earlier in March.
With uncertainty of the coronavirus situation, international sports federations will be given more time to adjust their qualifying standards.
"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.
2. More deserving athletes
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has already announced that athletes who have qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be able to keep their slots in the 2021 staging.
Tokyo 2020 targets 11,000 participants, but more deserving athletes may be given chances to qualify as they have more time to ramp up their bids.
"While some individual athletes have already sealed their slots for Tokyo, some International Federations may recommend new guidelines to qualify additional athletes who may prove deserving by next year," said Dayrit.
3. Sponsor attraction
As the major sponsors of the IOC signed up for at least two Olympic cycles, the addition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to the next cycle will give them more exposure.
"More sponsors could even be attracted to come in now as they will benefit from having 4 Olympic Games (the Winter and Youth Games in 2022, and two summer Games) in the next 4 years," said Dayrit.
4. Marketing exploits
While Japan's economy will suffer a dip with the impact of the Olympics delay, it might become a chance for other companies to turn their spending to sponsoring the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
"Most local sponsors in Japan will benefit from the extended period to exploit their marketing rights. This could also attract more companies to avail of this last chance to be part of Olympic history," said Dayrit.
5. Possible economic rebound
Experts say that the coronavirus pandemic would be more detrimental to Japan's economy rather than the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
But the rosier possibility looms at the increase of private consumption in 2021 with the staging of the quadrennial meet.
"The fruits of their investments will simply be delayed, rather than lost altogether," said Dayrit on Japan's recorded $12.6 billion spending for the Olympics.
6. Racking up profits and preventing further losses
The government and businesses in Japan would rather welcome the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to prevent further losses from the coronavirus pandemic.
Businesses will be given another shot to make up for their losses with the Tokyo Games attracting athletes and spectators from all over the world.
Industries related to tourism such as hotels and airlines have taken a hard hit with the highly infectious virus that has infected more than 590,000 people and claimed over 26,000 lives.
"Hotels, airlines, and other services naturally prefer rebooking than cancelation and refunds. And spectators may even choose to hold on to their tickets, rather than lose their rights to their reserved seats next year," said Dayrit.
"No one is to blame for pushing back the Tokyo Games from its original schedule, but everyone must look at the opportunities that the Olympic Games next year could bring. After all, our dreams will continue to live on." – Rappler.com