Connect with us

Sports

Scott Stinson on COVID-19: The Olympics have finally been postponed. Will they ever be the same? – National Post

Published

on


The International Olympic Committee did the inevitable on Tuesday, postponing the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics that were supposed to begin in late July until sometime beyond this year “but not later than summer 2021.”

Team Canada can take a measure of credit for providing the first boot in the pants of the IOC that brought about the delay, with their announcement on Sunday that they were out of a 2020 Olympics. The change that they wrought has given a measure of certainty to athletes, sent an important message about putting public health ahead of personal and financial interests, and has likely saved some lives.

“It wasn’t safe,” to continue, said COC president Tricia Smith, simply, on Tuesday. All of that deserves praise. This was the right move, even if it took the IOC an appallingly long time to come to it.

The swells at the Swiss offices seemed like literally the last people on the planet to accept that barging ahead with preparations for a global sports gathering was a bad idea amid a global pandemic. Read the room, fellas.

But while it was the right call, there’s no telling what it will mean for these Olympics and beyond. It has been known for years that the Olympics became far too big for their own good. Will the coronavirus, and this delay, begin to knock them back to a more reasonable size?

At this point it is hoped that the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics will be a close facsimile of whatever they were going to be before COVID-10 knocked the world for a loop. The IOC’s statement on Tuesday said it hoped the “Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.”

The flame, already in Japan for a torch relay that began awkwardly this month, will remain in that country. The Games themselves will still be called Tokyo 2020, even if they take place next year. That has the benefit of nice symbolism, a reminder of what the world (hopefully) overcomes to get to the point of a functioning Games, and It also allows organizers to not waste a whole bunch of t-shirts, plush toys and signage.


People take pictures with the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

Jae C. Hong/AP

The facilities are, obviously, all in place and will be a year from now. This will not be without its challenges. Ten of the 43 venues were intended to be temporary; they will have to be maintained, while mostly unused, for an extra 12 months. The athletes’ village, a cluster of new residential apartments that were to be converted into condominiums and sold after the Olympics, will now also be in limbo.

Other facilities like the press centre and certain venues that had non-sports functions — some events were to be held in a converted convention centre — will have to push back the bookings they were already taking for the months after the Games.

While these things are all manageable, especially in light of the sacrifices made in all sectors because of the pandemic, the larger question for Japan is the vast sums of money already spent on the Tokyo Olympics.

It was originally pitched as a US$7-billion event, and officially that number has already passed US$12-billion. Audits, though, have suggested the true cost is beyond US$26-billion, and that the official tally is artificially low because it excludes big-ticket infrastructure costs. This helps explain why the decision to postpone took so long: Japan is desperate to recoup some of that investment through the economic boom of the Games themselves.


Olympic rings monument at Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba, Tokyo. On Monday the IOC announced that the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Games would be postponed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY

The question is whether future Olympic hosts will ever want to expose themselves to this kind of risk. The next two summer cities, Paris and Los Angeles, are theoretically working with budgets closer to Tokyo’s original plan, and the IOC itself has pivoted to promoting the concept of “sustainable” Olympics that re-use existing facilities where possible.

But whether that actually comes to pass is uncertain. Organizers reliably blow past their cost estimates for every Olympics, something that is bound to happen as the IOC adds events to an ever-expanding footprint. Keeping one infrastructure project on budget is tricky, doing it with 43 of them is a nightmare.

For Tokyo, the more pressing concern will be whether the anticipated economic spinoffs even come to pass. The number of visitors in 2021 — athletes, staff, tourists — will almost have to be smaller than it would have been in 2020, as everyone adjusts to new economic realities. Broadcasters and sponsors, the IOC’s lifeblood, will be looking at their Olympic investments and wondering what to do about an exposure that has been put off into next year.


A countdown clock signals the days until the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games inside the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

NNoriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Consider Team Canada, which was out in front of all this, but has its own future to consider. Will its blue-chip sponsors, which include a national airline and a shopping-mall conglomerate, be willing to re-up the same level of support? Will the government?

COC chief executive David Shoemaker said on Tuesday that they received an “outpouring of support” from their marketing partners after their Sunday-night announcement, but these decisions will be played out country by country, each dealing with their own coronavirus fallout.

How many of them will send smaller Olympic delegations as priorities are reconsidered? How many will have to approach their Tokyo plans with an eye to Beijing 2022, now potentially happening just six months later?

A global celebration in Tokyo in 2021 is a worthwhile goal. And a big, flashy Olympics, same as it ever was, is a nice part of that idea. Whether it is realistic is another matter.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Dykstra's libel suit dismissed: Reputation 'so tarnished that it cannot be further injured' – theScore

Published

on


Lenny Dykstra’s defamation and libel lawsuit against former New York Mets teammate Ron Darling was dismissed Friday by New York Supreme Court Judge Robert D. Kalish, according to ESPN.

Dykstra’s “reputation for unsportsmanlike conduct and bigotry is already so tarnished that it cannot be further injured,” the ruling stated.

The lawsuit stemmed from Darling’s 2019 memoir, “108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game.” In the book, Darling wrote that Dykstra directed racist taunts toward Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd during the 1986 World Series.

Darling petitioned to have the lawsuit dismissed by citing Dykstra’s past legal problems as well as comments made in Dykstra’s autobiography, “House of Nails: A Memoir of Life on the Edge.” Judge Kalish cited these documents as a contributing factor to the dismissal.

“Based on the papers submitted on this motion, prior to the publication of the book, Dykstra was infamous for being, among other things, racist, misogynist, and anti-gay, as well as a sexual predator, a drug abuser, a thief, and an embezzler. Further, Dykstra had a reputation – largely due to his autobiography – of being willing to do anything to benefit himself and his team, including using steroids and blackmailing umpires,” Kalish wrote.

The 57-year-old Dykstra played 12 major-league seasons between the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies. He’s made headlines in his post-playing career for various legal issues, including a 2018 arrest for drug possession and uttering terroristic threats. He served six-and-a-half months in prison after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud, concealment of assets, and money laundering in 2012.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Jon Jones Has Made Enough Money from Fighting to Retire

Published

on

 

If Jon Jones
wants to relinquish the light heavyweight title and walk away from
the sport, that’s his decision, according to Dana White.

The UFC president issued a brief statement to the
Canadian Press
on Monday after Jones tweeted that he planned on
vacating the 205-pound belt. Jones’ threat was the latest salvo in
a
public dispute
regarding negotiations for a potential
superfight with heavyweight Francis
Ngannou
.

Jon
Jones
is one of the greatest to ever do it,” White said. “The
decision he wants to make regarding his career is up to him. The
reality is that he’s made enough money from fighting that he’s now
in the position to retire and never work again in his life.”

White’s statement bears some resemblance to
remarks he made
about Conor
McGregor
after the Irish star earned in the neighborhood of
$100 million to box Floyd
Mayweather
in August 2017.

Money appears to be at the root of the issues between Jones and
White. The UFC boss claimed that “Bones” demanded a Deontay
Wilder
payday — around $25 to $30 million — to fight Ngannou.
Jones responded that he never provided a specific number, only that
he wanted a new deal for the added risk of moving up in weight.
Things have only escalated since then, as Jones wasn’t pleased with
White’s remarks at the UFC on ESPN 9 post-fight press conference
Saturday.

Jones’ attention has been elsewhere more recently. He took to the
streets to
stop vandalism
in Albuquerque, New Mexico, early Monday morning
during the George Floyd protests in the city and then assisted
local businesses
with clean-up and repairs during the day.

Source: – Sherdog.com

Source link

Edited By Harry Miller

Continue Reading

Sports

Report: Players agree to MLB's radical realignment proposal – theScore

Published

on


Major League Baseball’s owners and players are locked in combative negotiations, but it appears they’re on the same page regarding temporary realignment.

As part of its counteroffer to the league, the players’ union agreed to MLB’s proposal to abandon the traditional American and National Leagues this year in favor of a regionalized three-division format, sources told Michael Silverman of The Boston Globe.

Under the plan, the AL East and NL East would merge into one 10-team division, with each league’s Central and West divisions doing the same, Silverman reports. Clubs would only play against their nine divisional opponents during the regular season in order to cut down on travel.

EastCentralWest
YankeesIndiansAthletics
OriolesRoyalsMariners
RaysTwinsAngels
Red SoxWhite SoxAstros
Blue JaysTigersRangers
BravesBrewersDodgers
NationalsRedsGiants
MarlinsCardinalsRockies
MetsCubsD-Backs
PhilliesPiratesPadres

All games would be played in each team’s regular home ballpark without fans in attendance. It’s unclear what the Toronto Blue Jays would do if Canada’s COVID-19 border restrictions are still intact when the season starts.

It’s also unclear what a playoff format in the realigned league could look like.

The length of the 2020 season remains in question as MLB and the union continue to negotiate. The players’ latest proposal called for prorated salaries over a 114-game season starting June 30 and ending Oct. 31 while including room for doubleheaders, Silverman reports. Owners, who had initially proposed an 82-game campaign, reportedly plan to counter with a shorter schedule of around 50 games along with prorated salaries.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending