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caption: On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said that it was starting to look into scenarios for "modifying" the current plans for the games, which are scheduled to start on July 24 in Tokyo.
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On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said that it was starting to look into scenarios for "modifying" the current plans for the games, which are scheduled to start on July 24 in Tokyo.
Credit: AP

Olympics Official Says He Would 'Mortgage The Farm' That Games Will Be Postponed

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound says he believes the Tokyo Summer Olympics will be postponed.

Pound, a longtime and influential IOC official, says the details have not yet been finalized. But he tells NPR's Tom Goldman that he would "mortgage the farm" that the 2020 Games will be pushed back.

This would be the first time the Games have ever been postponed. Previously the Games were canceled in 1916 for World War I, and in 1940 and 1944 during World War II.

Calls have been building for the IOC to push back the Games.

Canada has said it will not send its athletes to the Olympics or Paralympics this summer. Australia told its athletes to prepare to participate in the Olympics in 2021. In the United States, USA Swimming and USA Track and Field have called on the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to ask the IOC to delay the games. So far, the USOPC has not done that.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said it was starting to look into scenarios for "modifying" the current plans for the Games, which are scheduled to start on July 24.

The IOC's executive committee said for the first time that it was considering postponement, but also stressed that "a cancellation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would not solve any of the problems or help anybody."

"Therefore, cancellation is not on the agenda," the IOC stressed in a statement.

On Monday, after months of insisting that the Olympics would go on as planned, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe conceded that it was possible the games might be postponed. [Copyright 2020 NPR]