Limpag: Domino effect

Mike T. Limpag

THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally decided on moving the Tokyo Olympics to not later than the summer of 2021. After weeks of refusing to take a stand, the IOC has finally caved in after major countries like Canada and Australia threatened not to send their athletes to the games.

I think it’s a good move, one that will eventually benefit our Olympians.

But what does this mean for the world of sports? The sports calendar being so interconnected, this will have a domino effect that will be felt as long as four years down the road.

You see, you have world championships for some sports that are held after an Olympic year for the precise reason that organizers don’t want to clash with the Games. Some world championships, of course, also serve as qualifiers to the games.

The best way to avoid such domino effect is to cancel, not postpone, all the major events lined up for 2021, some sort of a reboot of the whole global sports calendar starting with the new schedule of the Olympic games.

But that’s going to be easier said than done. Case in point, the world championships for athletics in 2021 scheduled in August, 2021 in Eugene, Oregon-- the birthplace of Nike—which has built a new stadium for the event.

Ironing out the sports calendar is something the world leaders will have to work on and I’m sure some feathers will be ruffled. However, I’m confident the calendar will find a way to settle itself and it will be business as usual for the rest of us.

As for the Philippines, for me, the postponement will help us as it gives more time for our athletes to qualify for the games. Our very own Mary Joy Tabal is nursing an injury and I think she needs months to heal; one of our very best hopes for a medal, Hidilyn Diaz, still hasn’t earned an Olympic spot because of all the cancellations.

The postponement will give them more time to heal and will allow them to join events that award Olympic spots.

So for me, the postponement of the Olympics is a positive move from the IOC, never mind what this means for the major events in 2022, 2023 and of course, 2024. But hey, maybe starting next year, we are going to see the Olympic games every odd year and the other major events that avoid the Olympic year, in every even year?