Dick Pound, a long-time member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said that if the Tokyo Olympics do not proceed on schedule in 2021 due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, then its likely that the 2022 Beijing Winter Games are likely to be effected by the pandemic and will be cancelled.
Pound said that if countries are unable to contain the pandemic, and if there is no vaccine for massive administration, then the IOC would be forced to further postpone the Tokyo Olympics, but more likely would cancel them. Pound added that either postponement or cancellation of Tokyo would, in all probability, create a domino effect that would cancel the Beijing Games.
The Tokyo Summer Games have been postponed from this year and are scheduled from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Beijing Winter Olympics are scheduled to start approximately six months later, from February 4 to 20, 2022.
Pound said in an interview with Reuters that, "Taking the political side out of it for the moment, and say there is a COVID problem in July and August next year in Tokyo, it is hard to imagine there is not going to be a knock-on effect in the same area five months later."
The Beijing Winter Olympics could also be complicated by politics between China and the USA as President Donald Trump engages in a trade war with China, has ended Hong Kong’s special status with the U.S., is threatening to stop Chinese Communist Party members from traveling to the U.S. and is blaming China for the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Insiders in the White House have said that Trump wants to use China as a “tool” in his election efforts this year and might even go so far as announcing a boycott, either partial or whole, of the Beijing Games before the US elections in November. By announcing such a boycott, Trump would appear to be “tough” on China with his political base and would embarrass China and its leaders.
Pound, who has served as both an IOC Vice-President and head of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), speculated that any number of political scenarios could play out that could effect the games.
One scenario is the U.S. boycott of the games, but another scenario is China banning the U.S. from participating since it has not been able to gain control over its Covid-19 pandemic.
Pound said in his Reuters interview that, "At least one part of the U.S. is planning an election campaign which is all anti-China."
"If you are a conspiracy theorist, you might say well, the WHO is strongly influenced by China and they could probably, without smirking too much, go to a WHO meeting, from which the U.S. will no longer be associated, and say this isn't positive health. There could be the largest number of cases in the world (in the U.S.) and it would be dangerous having Americans coming to China.”
Pound added that, "That is an extreme supposition. There are all kinds of crazy things that could happen."