The 16th Summer Paralympics would have ended this weekend in Tokyo, but the pandemic had other ideas.
Why it matters: The Paralympics is the one of the biggest sporting events on Earth, and its recent surge in popularity has helped change how the world views disabilities — and human potential.
Yoshiro Mori, president of the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympics, said Wednesday that the summer games rescheduled for next July won't be possible if the coronavirus pandemic continues in its current state, AP reports.
The state of play: The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers have expressed confidence that the games will take place, but said that another delay would not be possible and that the Olympics would instead be canceled.
The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics was a serious economic blow for U.S. Olympic and Paralympic athletes and hopefuls.
The state of play: With seasons and events canceled, athletes are unable to earn appearance fees, prize money and performance bonuses from sponsors, all while continuing to train for Tokyo 2021.
American sprinter Christian Coleman, the world's 100 meter champion and a favorite to win gold next summer in Tokyo, has been provisionally suspended by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for anti-doping violations.
Worth noting: Coleman has never failed a single drug test in his career; rather, these violations pertain to "whereabouts failures," which means he either missed a test or neglected to file the proper paperwork with the AIU.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.