The Australian Olympic Committee has told Australian athletes to plan for an Olympic Games in Tokyo for the northern hemisphere summer months of 2021.

The Canadian government has announced that it will not send athletes to an Olympic Games if the games go as planned to begin on July 24.

We have seen massive hysteria on many levels, but this move by Australia and Canada make solid sense.

It is hardly possible to imagine a more fertile environment for incubation and transmission of a virus than that provided by cramming athletes from all around the world into the same place for two weeks.

Shouts to Australia and Canada for displaying some common sense.

The International Olympic Committee, as recently as yesterday said that a decision on the 24 July start date of the Tokyo Olympics would be made in the next several weeks.

Their reluctance to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is understandable, from a logistics and financial perspective, but this is not the time to cross fingers and hope for a rapid cessation of the coronavirus outbreak.

Were we Olympic athletes, we would not have required a federal committee to tell us what seems to be a question of ordinary common sense. We would not go, whether we were part of a team or participating in an individual event.

Patriotism and the chance to win a symbolic medal do not seem an equitable tradeoff.

The IOC has expressed the principle that athlete health is first, a statement that by inference applies to any and all support personnel that would be required in Tokyo.

Australian Olympic Team Chef de Mission stated, unequivocally, “It’s clear the games can’t be held in July. Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them.”

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