By Nick Giongco
Former Philippine Olympic Committee president Celso Dayrit believes the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has its advantages.
“This should be good for the Olympic Movement, and to all stakeholders including the International Olympic Committee (IOC), international federations (IF), National Olympic Committees (NOCs), the Japanese people, sponsors and above all, the athletes,” said Dayrit, who now heads the Fencing Confederation of Asia.
The IOC and the Japanese organizers were forced to postpone the staging of the July 24-Aug. 9 Olympics as the world continues to battle COVID-19.
The IOC said that Tokyo 2020 will have to be held “not later than the summer of 2021.”
“As the 32nd Olympic cycle is extended by one year, immeasurable benefits could be derived,” said Dayrit.
“More aspiring individual athletes could be given a ‘second chance’ to qualify for the delayed Tokyo Games. 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,” he said.
“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. The possibility of having a ‘bigger’ Olympics in 2021 looms.”
Dayrit feels that the IOC could up luring more sponsors.
“Most of the big IOC sponsors signed up for at least two Olympic cycles, so to postpone Tokyo Games is not detrimental to them. More sponsors could even be attracted to come in now as they will benefit from having four Olympic Games (the Winter and Youth Games in 2022 and two Summer Games) in the next four years.”
Even host Japan stands to cash in on the postponement by attracting more companies to become a part of the historic Games, pointed out Dayrit.