Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games: stress-testing governance in the Olympic System and limitations to Agenda 2020

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Marjorie Enya
Mateus Nagime
Dominik Gusia


The global emergency imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the first months of 2020 has been disrupting virtually every aspect in society, and has caused the postponement of the Olympic Games for the first time ever. While the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was absolutely reasonable, and potentially inevitable, the process that led to this decision demands some careful observation. This paper aims to briefly analyze this process, based on the sequence of official statements provided by the International Olympic Committee, and the movements by other relevant stakeholders within the Olympic System that could be observed in the media, using a critical approach based on the expectations created by some of the recommendations in Agenda 2020. 


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Special issue - Tokyo Olympic Games: postponement or cancellation?