2020 Olympics

The big picture

Olympics postponement throws more than $1 billion in advertising into limbo

NBCUniversal now has to sell ads and airtime originally designated for the Games.

Mar 24, 2020
Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed until 2021

The Games were scheduled to begin July 24.

Mar 24, 2020
Senators urge NBC to refuse to air 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

"Please pick human rights over profits," senators tell NBC Universal.

Dec 19, 2019

All 2020 Olympics stories

May 21, 2020 - Sports

IOC president: Tokyo Olympics would be canceled if not held in 2021

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in March. Photo: Denis Balibouse/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics would have to be canceled entirely if the coronavirus pandemic means they cannot be held in 2021, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach told the BBC on Wednesday.

The state of play: "You cannot forever employ 3,000, or 5,000, people in an organizing committee. You cannot every year change the entire sports schedule worldwide of all the major federations. You cannot have the athletes being in uncertainty. You cannot have so much overlapping with a future Olympic Games," Bach said.

Go deeper: Athletes who qualified for Tokyo Olympics to keep their spots in 2021

Apr 21, 2020 - Sports

Coronavirus projected to cancel half of 2020's live sporting events

Data: Two Circles; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Only 53% of the major sports events originally scheduled for 2020 are likely to take place this year, according to new projections from sports marketing agency Two Circles.

Apr 13, 2020 - Sports

Tokyo Olympics' coronavirus delay could cost Japan and IOC billions

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Photo: Denis Balibouse/pool/AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus-induced delay of the 2020 Summer Olympics could cost billions of dollars, with Japan and the International Olympic Committee footing the bill, reports the AP.

Why it matters: IOC president Thomas Bach said this weekend that his organization will likely face "several hundred million dollars" of added costs as Japan covers the rest — with estimates pegging the total postponement costs at $2 billion to $6 billion.

Apr 9, 2020 - Sports

U.S. Olympians brace for $200 million cash crunch

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Tokyo Olympics postponement means that nearly $200 million in media rights fees, which the International Olympic Committee was set to distribute to the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee, likely won't arrive until August 2021.

Why it matters: While this certainly puts a financial strain on the USOPC, it also illuminates the larger issue of how the committee distributes its funds, with athletes occupying the bottom of a trickle-down system that leaves many destitute even in the best of times.

Apr 7, 2020 - Sports

Athletes who qualified for Tokyo Olympics to keep their spots in 2021

Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty

Nearly 6,500 athletes who qualified for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will keep their spots when the event takes place in 2021, according to new qualification rules announced by the International Olympic Committee Tuesday.

The big picture: The revision was made to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, replacing a previous version of the regulations from July 2017. The new qualifying deadline is June 29, 2021, and entry lists are due one week later.

Apr 7, 2020 - Sports

No one knows when the coronavirus sports shutdown will end

Data: Morning Consult National Tracking Poll of 1,512 self-reported sports fans, April 3-5, 2020; MOE ± 3%; Chart: Axios Visuals

It's been 26 days since the sports world effectively shuttered, and fans are eager to start watching games again, but not quite as eager to attend them.

The state of play: According to a new Morning Consult poll, 51% of fans think live sports will return between June and September, while only 8% think the void will bleed into 2021.

Apr 2, 2020 - Sports

Simone Biles won't commit to postponed Tokyo Olympics in 2021

Photo: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Most female gymnasts have a small window of time to compete in the Olympics before their bodies mature, so it was a huge deal that Simone Biles was set to defend her all-around title this summer at age 23.

The state of play: Now that the Games have been delayed a year, Biles, the most decorated gymnast in history, isn't sure if she will compete.

Apr 1, 2020 - Sports

A look back at the month that erased sports

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Remember when Spike Lee and the Knicks were feuding over his use of the employee entrance? That was in March.

Flashback: We've all seen the countless memes about the unending misery formerly known as March 2020. Here's a snapshot of how the sports world made it through the longest month ever.

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