Morten Mølholm, Director General of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark, at a press conference, back in 2018. Photo: Asger Ladefoged/Ritzau Scanpix
Morten Mølholm, Director General of the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation of Denmark (DIF), said that he believed the Summer Olympics in Tokyo should be held in 2021 instead.
“We have great respect for the complicated situation the IOC are in, because the Olympics are a big thing,” he told Danish state broadcaster DR. “But we are having a hard time seeing us having an Olympics in the current situation. That's why we think the right solution is to postpone them.”
The decision comes after Norway on Friday sent a formal letter to the IOC, calling for them to postpone the games until the the pandemic is “under firm control on a national scale”.
The IOC on Sunday responded to mounting pressure with a statement promising to “step up scenario planning” for the games. IOC President Thomas Bach last week said it was “premature” to consider postponing them. The DIF on Wednesday echoed this position, saying that it was “too early to decide”.
But Mølholm told DR on Sunday that even putting the risk of reigniting the pandemic on hold, he did not see how an Olympics held in today's conditions could be fair on athletes.
“At the moment we are in a totally chaotic situation, where many athletes do not have the opportunity to train, and participate in qualifying rounds. Therefore, the only right thing is to create clarity about the situation by taking the decision to postpone it.”
“We do not believe that we can have a fair Olympics this year, as the conditions will be so different for the different athletes.”
He said that difficulties re-booking venues would probably make it practically difficult to postpone by only a few months, making a postponement of a full year the best option.