The Week That Was: It’s Tokyo 2021! Summer Games Postponed For First Time

olympic-starting-block-2016-rio-olympics
Photo Courtesy: Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports

The Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The International Olympic Committee officially set the dates for the 2020 Olympic Games that were pushed back an entire year to combat the coronavirus pandemic that has turned the world upside down the last month, completely wiping away any and all sports for the upcoming months. The Tokyo Games will not be held this summer, instead being set for July 23, nearly an entire year later than they were originally intended.

The Olympics completely dominated this week’s headlines, and with an official announcement being made today regarding the start dates, we will wait to see how FINA will respond in regards to the World Championships that were supposed to be held in July 2021 in Fukuoka, Japan.

Read below the five biggest stories in the Week That Was sponsored by Suitmate.

The Week That Was #5: Abbey Weitzeil Among Finalists For Sullivan Award

abbey-weitzeil-

Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

By Andy Ross

Cal senior Abbey Weitzeil has been named a finalist for the Sullivan Award presented each year to the top amateur athlete in the United States by the Amateur Athletic Union. Weitzeil is among ten finalists and you can vote here every day until March 30 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Swimmers Beata Nelson and Ryan Hoffer were semi-finalists but did not advance to the finals. The winner will be announced April 21.

#4: Passages: John Davies Passes Peacefully at 90

John davies individual

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World Archive

By Ian Hanson, Oceania Correspondent

1952 Olympic Gold Medalist John Davies passed away peacefully at the age of 90. He was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1984.

Davies first won a NSW swimming championship in 1946 at the old Manly Baths – destroyed by the storms of 1974 – and was discovered and mentored by the legendary coach Forbes Carlile after winning the Australian Championship in Adelaide in 1947.

Davies was part of the original “guinea pigs” of Australia’s genius sports scientist Professor Frank Cotton, under Carlile’s swimming spell.

Between them the combination of Carlile and Cotton weaved their magic to produce Australia’s first Olympic swimming gold medallist since Clare Dennis in Los Angeles in 1932, when Davies came back from London to win the gold at the 1952 Helsinki Games.

The Olympic family on both sides of the Pacific are mourning the loss of US Federal Court Judge John Griffith Davies who passed away peacefully in Pasadena, California on March 25 with his wife Marnie and his children Jack and Ann by his side. He was 90.

The Week That Was #3: Maxime Rooney, Jack Collins Write Letter to NCAA Regarding Eligibility

maxime-rooney-

Maxime Rooney. Photo Courtesy: Connor Trimble

By Dan D’Addona

Maxime Rooney and Jack Collins drafted a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert on Tuesday, asking him to consider an additional year of NCAA eligibility option for NCAA winter athletes that lost their season finales because of the coronavirus.

Their letter was entitled “A Voice for Senior Athletes” and urges the president to extend the extra year of eligibility option that was given to spring athletes who missed their seasons.

The letter begins by thanking Emmert for making decisions to keep athletes save during this pandemic.

“We are respectfully asking the NCAA to consider granting a year of eligibility to senior athletes affected by the cancellation of the National Championships. It is our hope that you would consider working towards a solution that gives senior athletes the option to end their collegiate career in the way they imagined,” the letter reads. “Many athletes were impacted by cancellation decisions; for some, their seasons were cut short, but for others, this marked the abrupt end to their athletic careers. This ending stopped them from participating in a national championship – a competition that was to be the culmination of the year’s hard work and/or career-long effort.”

#2: FINA Issues Statement on 2021 Worlds

venue-

Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

By Craig Lord, Swimming World Editor-in-Chief

FINA, the international federation, has broken its silence to reveal that it will work with the Fukuoka organisers of the 2021 World Aquatics Championships after a decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and shift the event on a year in response to the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-198) pandemic.

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads, FINA would like to reiterate its concern for all those affected. FINA is well aware of the issues faced by aquatics athletes around the world, especially with regard to training and pool access.

Moreover, following today’s joint announcement by the IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organisers, concerning the postponement of the Olympic Games for 2021, FINA will now work closely with the host organising committee of the 2021 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka, with the Japan Swimming Federation and with the Japanese public authorities, in order to determine flexibility around the dates of the competition, if necessary and in agreement with the IOC.

FINA’s main goal is to ensure the success of its showcase event, while considering the importance of athlete wellbeing and maximising opportunities for aquatics stars to compete at the highest level.

FINA would like to express its continued and sincere gratitude to the IOC, and both the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the Fukuoka 2021 FINA World Championships, for their very considerable efforts to bring the world together peacefully through sport.

The Week That Was #1: It’s Tokyo 2021 Set For July 23

thomas-bach-and-friends-at-2016-rio-olympics

Members of the IOC in Rio in 2016. Photo Courtesy: James Lang/USA TODAY Sports

By Swimming World Editorial Team

The International Olympic Committee has announced the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021 as the coronavirus (COVID-21) pandemic continues its relentless march across the world.

The decision marks the first time in Olympic history that the Games have been postponed. The Olympics of 1916, 1940 and 1944 were cancelled owing to the First and Second World Wars.

The Games will remain as Tokyo 2020 in brand and name in Tokyo 2021. The Games will take place from 23 July to 8 August 2021, the International Olympic Committee have announced.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had earlier confirmed plans for a one-year delay to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to summer 2021. In a short address to the Japanese media, he also said that Thomas Bach, the head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) was in “100% agreement”.

The Japanese leader told the Japanese media before a joint IOC/Tokyo 2020 statement was issued (in full below):

“I proposed to postpone for about a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement. This will make it possible for athletes to play in the best condition, and will make the event a safe and secure one for spectators.’

2 comments

  1. Stefanie Boyle

    Any news on Olympic Trials set for June in Omaha? I assume they are also postponed but wondering about ticket purchases.

    • Leslie Cichocki

      I am guessing June 17th or 18 2021 like exactly a year out from originally planned.