Olympic expert and former Olympian available to comment on postponement of 2020 Tokyo Games

Photo by Paul Mayne // Western News

Angela Scheider

According to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games until 2021 because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The director of Western University’s International Centre for Olympic Studies (ICOS) is available to the media for comment.

Angela J. Schneider, a former Olympian, studies genetic doping in sport, sport medicine ethics, women in sport and embodiment and the philosophy of sport.

Schneider won a silver medal at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles as a member of the Canadian coxed four women’s rowing team.

“The July timetable for the Tokyo Olympic Games was neither feasible, nor desirable, but more importantly, it was not morally responsible. The health of the public worldwide, the health of the athletes both physically and mentally and fair opportunity in sport for all who want a chance to qualify, all overshadowed the significant economic and administrative costs of postponing the Games.

“It would be a great thing to now see all stakeholders of sport unite with its ‘duty of care’ in this time of great global risk and to place the health of not only athletes, but the public, ahead of sport and economics. Now we need to call on the broadcasters like NBC and sponsors to also step up and support the IOC and IPC, also demonstrating a duty of care towards athletes, by being flexible in these difficult times.

“The Olympic Games have had the opportunity of playing a unique historical role at times, in bringing countries together and uniting a divided world. This is a great opportunity for the IOC to demonstrate what we can truly celebrate in the Olympic Games; working together to overcome adversity and demonstrate virtue. I am also so proud, as a Canadian, that it was Canada who took the first step.”

Commentary reflects the perspective and scholarly interest of Western faculty members and is not an articulation of official university policy on issues being addressed.

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Angela Scheider
Angela Scheider