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Coronavirus and the Tokyo Olympics


All the advice getting the Games can mugo head so at this precise time we are moving ahead and expecting the Games to begin on the twenty fourth. The International Olympic Committee is pressing on with the Tokyo Summer Games but with corona virus shutdown competitions across the world in teams playing to empty. Arenas a lot can happen between now and July today. How the biggest sporting event on earth preparing to move forward as the world battles a public health crisis. I mean it's Wednesday march fourth. Espn daily presented by ADT Hi Kelly Hi Kelly Cohen is a reporter for. Espn this week. She wrote about Corona virus in the preparations for the Tokyo Olympics. So Kelly the International Olympic Committee is holding meetings. This week in Switzerland. They're going to be covering a lot of issues but obviously what everyone wants to know about is corona virus and whether it will impact the Games will what has the committee said right so actually two people spoke from the committee the President Thomas Bach and Mark Adams who's the spokesperson for the I. O. C. And they said more or less the same thing and I would say that they are very strong and resolute in their statements that July twenty fourth. That is when the Olympic Games are opening a vase. Have the game's going ahead from all of the competent authorities. You can have all the speculation that you want and I would love to give you a good story but the fact is there's no reason for not plan to have the game starting on twenty four July and then Thomas Bach. He also spoke. He said more about the same. All the wing of the regular information from Task Force. We remain very confident with regard to the success of these Olympic Games told twenty twenty again July twenty four th. The Olympics are happening. This is quite a change from what we heard last week right right so last week Dick Pound a member of the IOC caught even the IOC itself by surprise when he said in an interview that the Olympics could get cancelled if corona virus continues to get worse if the Games are cancelled. And that's a big. If at this point it's going to be a complicated decision today. We're sort of watching the the. Irs's constant contact with World Health Organization. And all their specialized agencies to to monitor the. Because we don't really know enough about it yet so the IRS's been working. I guess you could say pretty hard to walk that back now. They're kind of all on the same page and if I could emphasize that that page is very strong. There's no need to panic. We're doing everything. We can make sure that the Olympics are going to be safe for everyone. Athletes Attendees visitors from overseas people that live in Japan and I would say they are going to continue to be dot strongly unified going forward as we get closer to July. We also heard from Japan's Mr for the Tokyo Games. Who said yes. Everybody's working towards July twenty four th th the opening ceremony in Tokyo but she kinda threw a wrinkle in there and actually brought up postponing the Games. What did that tell you right? So she was talking to Japan's parliament. She's the minister of both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games the Paralympic Games come right after the regular Olympic Games. And there's a contract between the host city of Tokyo and the I O C and it basically reads that only the can cancel the games only if they can't be held in the Europe two thousand twenty so she kind of kept the door open that if they can postponent. That's okay because the contract they can hold it up until the end of the year. So I think that's how we see. Catalino Games whatsoever is really remains the worst case scenario and in Tokyo those officials are going to make sure that you know one way or the other we get Olympics. Twenty twenty even though we're hearing in July twenty four July twenty fourth. It's not actually a done deal that the games will go forward as planned right right so as a Tuesday. There are now more than thirty one hundred deaths worldwide ninety two thousand confirmed cases more than seventy countries worldwide. Now have the corona virus and even though infections are slowing in China where the current virus originated. It is growing elsewhere so I think there is a possibility that it gets to the point where they're going to have to not go forward. July twenty fourth and I also want to point out that. Who HAS NOT DECLARED KRONA virus global pandemic? They said that they could do that in the future. So I think that's kind of a space to watch for that if. Who declares it a global pandemic? We might start to see you know something has to change. It's not going to be July twenty fourth so that is definitely a big thing to watch for so Kelly around the world. The reason we're even having this conversation in the first place about the Olympics is obviously that it's in Japan. What is the state of the virus in Japan right now? So it's actually. It remains the worst in mainland China. That's where most of the cases are. That's where most of the deaths are in Japan. They have more than nine hundred confirmed cases. Which is the fifth most in the world behind China South Korea Italy Iran and they are taking a lot of precautions. Health experts encourage social distancing for Japan. That means empty. Schools classes cancelled for a month. Empty offices people working from home. Their prime minister has cancelled school until April so that includes all levels of school. And that when you think about it eliminates not that close quarter right. It's also the CDC has issued a level to travel warnings. So that means if you're someone that has health issues or you're older it means don't travel there yet so right now the. Us is still level one so if you lived outside the US pretty much okay right now to come in. Japan is level two and then those other countries like China like South Korea. Those are level three which means like you should absolutely not go there at all so. Japan's kind of in the middle but like I said they are taking precautions. Preseason baseball in Japan. They're playing games. In front of Anti Stadiums. Ushers make the rounds before the starting lineup. Sir announced beeped echoing through the Empty Fifty. Five thousand seat Tokyo. They actually don't even know when the regular season is GonNa start because of the threat. Is there anything about the krona virus in particular that makes this process especially challenging? Yes so with other diseases that we've seen h one n one strain of the flu. That threatened the Vancouver Olympics. We also know Zeke on in two thousand sixteen. In Brazil there was a lot known about those diseases. And that's that's a good thing with the corona virus. There's a lot of unknown. There's no vaccine. There's a lot of things that they're still trying to figure out about it so I think that lack of knowledge is what's playing into this fear that the Olympics might have to be modified or cancelled or whatever because of the fact that we don't have a lot of concrete answers about it so I covered the Rio Olympics in two thousand sixteen and I remember in the spring in mayor so there were medical experts. Who were saying. The Games should be moved or cancelled because of The World Health organizations that they didn't think it was a risk and you know that the Olympics could happen after the Games. It was reported that there wasn't a single Zeke case by the end of the Olympics in Brazil. Now obviously we're talking about an entirely different virus right now. Do you think it's possible? We might see similarly conflicting opinions until the Games Begin. Yes definitely and I've actually seen some. You know I've seen experts in op-eds saying you absolutely have to cancel it and then I've seen other experts again saying we still don't know enough to cancel. It could be something like the flu right. It could be a seasonal virus that will taper out during the warmer months so when learn more I think maybe than the opinions might come closer together. You know. We still have five months to go. So there is a lot of uncertainty between now and then coming up how Cronin virus stacks up to pass threats to the Olympic Games. Hiring can be time consuming. Ceo Talia Goldstein needed to hire matchmakers for her personalized matchmaking company. Three Day rule so she turned to Ziprecruiter. And now you can try Ziprecruiter for free at ZIPRECRUITER DOT com slash. 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Who's communications director? When he spoke about this issue so he he knew right as he sat down before he took any questions he was like. I know what's on your mind right. It's virus which you know. It does make sense that that's what everyone wants to talk about. We have very little to Adam show. You lost me lots of questions for us. The Games are going head on the twenty fourth of July. And we expect to deliver them on that date so the first question's again were about Kurna virus. Even though he said he wasn't going to offer any new information about supposed to being cancelled all over the world seems to be spreading. I mean you must have a deadline of when you've got to make a decision to postpone delay. We talked about that. Is he going to be the end of May know? We've made a decision. The decision is the Games. Go ahead with that. Was that was made some time ago. We see no reason to change that decision that we are so. He did seem kind of defensive. You could even say a little bit annoyed. He was like we're going forward. We're doing everything we have the task force we have. Who you know. The Japanese government the Tokyo local officials. The I ac- start date is going forth as planned. Yeah were nervous about it but don't worry about it because we're doing everything we can and then some stop cussing about it so there's a lot of emphasis obviously on that date. July twenty four th at the beginning of the Games but there are events around the Olympics before the Games even begin right so you have the international qualifying events. And we've actually seen a little bit of those tweet and he actually acknowledged that there might be a little bit of changes. He used the word flexible. The stage was still pretty confident. That with that flexibility with some health measures those different events that they will take place to US action. Some of those events are going to have to be moved so last week. The International Triathlon Union announced its qualifying events being moved from China to Spain. Baseball's qualifying tournament held in Taipei is being pushed from April to July. That was the big thing for him to acknowledge. But I definitely watch Zo. That space for those type of Pre July twenty fourth events to change a Kelly. What is the precedent for this kind of decision have the Olympics ever been cancelled or moved before so to date no Olympics have actually ever been cancelled or postponed for anything other than war? So that's World War One and World War Two. They were moved. I would say probably the most comparable event we can look at is in two thousand three. When there was the SARS outbreak in China? They moved the women's World Cup into the US. But that is also hard to compare because you can have a giant soccer tournament at a soccer stadium and the US had also held it for years prior so they were kind of set up for that you know they're always these threats to large scale events. Whether it's again disease it can be politics. It can be violence and they prepare for that a professor talk to Victor Matheson. He studied Olympics history. He told me that talking about these type of threats so not just necessarily disease but also maybe violence or politics to such mega event like the Olympics is not unprecedented. There is president for talking about these type of threats. But this type of threat. The Corona virus itself is so unprecedented in what it's threatening the Olympics. So not long ago. The Tokyo marathon was held. It went forward but it was held to just a few hundred elite runners. Tens of thousands who had registered were told to stay home and there were no spectators so it was held on mostly empty streets which was an eerie sight here in Japan. This is now what sports looks like an age of Corona virus. Typically it'll be tens of thousands of fans lining the streets to cheer on the runners right. How in comparison? Nobody is here and got me wondering. Do you think it's possible? The Olympics might proceed but there might not be fans or spectators allowed to watch. That's definitely an option and it's been we've seen it in some soccer games especially in Italy. I think before the bigger outbreak in Italy. We saw those kind of closed door events but yeah milly more than a million spectators usually go to the Tokyo marathon. It's one of the biggest ones in the world and they weren't there there. Were just two hundred runners on these quiet streets in the photos. Yeah they're very eerie. And I think it's certainly a possibility but I don't know the Olympics. This unifying thing in the world that lack of not having that I think is something that is weighing on the minds and it's not the best thing to think about Kelly along those lines. There's billions of dollars wrapped up in the Olympics. What would the financial impact be both Japan and the I o see if this was canceled or postponed so the official budget for the Olympics? This year was between I think it was upwards of twelve billion dollars but we've also seen estimates put north of twenty five billion but one expert. I talked to actually had something. Pretty interesting to say he said basically now all the construction spending is done and they expected the tourism revenue to be pretty big but tourism. Revenue is just one percent of Japan's GDP. So they weren't necessarily looking toward that even as such a big deal but you know. There's the television deals. There's the marketing campaigns. There are billions of dollars still at stake. You know obviously money is never more important than a life but that is something that's really also has to weigh on the minds right and then you also think of the money spent by the athletes and the teams in the countries and how much time and effort that they've been planning for the Olympics for years. Your story. This week is about the Olympics. But it's not the only major sporting event potentially affected by the Krona virus. We talked about the Tokyo Marathon. What other events and Games are being impacted by this around the world so sports are actually feeling the impact around the globe. It's not just Japan. The world indoor track and field championships later this month in March in China have been postponed. Soccer Games in Italy in China have been cancelled. Postponed played behind closed. Doors the Formula One actually. The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai scheduled for April has been postponed the LPGA had events in China Thailand and Singapore. Those have all been cancelled. So it's it's definitely impacting sports everywhere. Well what about in the US? I mean we're starting to see more cases here in multiple states. Do you think it's possible that major sporting events could also be cancelled in terms of here. I think it's been a little bit slower here but it could easily pick up in America like it has an Italy officials. Here are warning that really could happen. I think precautionary measures right now. Or just what we're hearing about you know here in the NBA. We had some reporting on. Espn about not shaking hands limiting signatures. Just doing fist bumps major league baseball just announced that they're not planning to cancel or postpone spring training or regular season games due to the corona virus but they do have an internal task force to deal with any no possible things that might arise from krona virus in the coming months. I know the NHL is doing some preparations. But I think right now. They're kind of keeping the surface level in about two weeks. March madness starts and so that means sixty teams in all of their fans all packing into basketball arenas watching these games and the National College Players Association actually suggesting that the NC double a. and the colleges that are going to be part of March madness seriously. Consider playing those games without the fans. Thanks so much Kelly. Thank you coming up. Nfl players and their same name gators. Now you can win a two hundred fifty thousand dollar home renovation designed by the Scott Brothers and at Adt Smart Home Security System to enter just head to ADT DOT com slash past the protection. And tell us what you want to protect. A beautiful home is great but a safer home is even better. Now's your opportunity to get both the winner and the winner is home will be featured in eighteen video with the Scott Brothers no purchase necessary where prohibited ends. March sixteenth must be eighteen or over and a homeowner as February. First Two thousand twenty to learn more about the contest and read the official rules good. Adt Dot com slash past the protection. Here's another story I want you to. There are almost seventeen hundred players in the NFL. So some are bound to share. First or last names and occasionally. This is quite rare. We'll get unrelated players with the exact same name last year. The Jaguars drafted a pass. Rusher named Josh Allen Seventh overall one year after the bills to quarterback Josh Allen in the exact same spot in this year. There's another name in the draft going to raise some eyebrows. A cornerback from Nebraska named Lamar Jackson according to a piece by ESPN's Michael Rothstein cornerback. Lamar Jackson was actually a higher ranked recruit coming out of high school. He first learned about quarterback Lamar Jackson. By what else? Googling his own name and when the eventual heisman winner started gaining notoriety at Louisville cornerback. Lamar Jackson was often confused for him on. Social Media Ralston reached out to. Mvp Lamar Jackson's mother. Who's his manager and while she told him that she and her son weren't aware of the younger Lamar. They wished him. Good luck in this year's draft the players could end up. Being teammates quarterback more actually met with Baltimore at the senior bowl or he could end up picking off his namesake in a game producing some Lamar on the mar violence. I'm still waiting for Josh Allen on Josh Allen sack. Meanwhile there's another quarterback in this draft with a familiar name. Aj Green out of Oklahoma state so cornerback. Aj actually met his predecessor. The famous bengals wide receiver when he asked for his autograph at a Pro Bowl years ago. But unlike Josh Josh Lamar Lamar. Their names are actually different. Bengals A. J. Green is named ADRIA and Oklahoma State A. J. Green is named Alvin. But something tells me that won't stop people from mixing them up for the rest of his career. I mean and this has been ESPN daily. I'll talk to you tomorrow.

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