Stillness to rescue the Olympic Movement: exploring opportunities in the postponement of Tokyo 2020

Main Article Content

Marjorie Enya
Divya Saini
Christine Dankwa
David Grassi
Aikaterini Plakouda


The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the decision of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which is an unprecedented decision that is bringing about colossal challenges to every institutional stakeholder in the Olympic System. The IOC has launched a robust taskforce to assess the reach and impact of the postponement, and provide guidance to adapt the project of the Games to a new timeline, which is addressing the logistical, managerial and financial aspects of this endeavor. This paper, however, aims to approach this unprecedented challenge from a perspective that privileges the opportunities it creates to shift the course of the Olympic Movement towards a better alignment with Olympic ideals, based on some recommendations of Agenda 2020 as well.


1 IOC. Olympic Charter [cited 13 Apr 2020]. Available at:

2 IOC. Olympic Motto [cited 13 Apr 2020]. Available at:

3 IOC. Tokyo 2020, Here We Go: New Dates, Same Commitment [cited 13 Apr 2020]. Available at:

4 Morgan L. Athletes asked for preference on new dates for 2021 FINA World Championships [cited 13 Apr 2020]. Inside the Games; 2020. Available at: https://www.

5 Reid HL. Why Olympia matters for modern sport. Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. 2017; 44(2): 159-173.

6 Coubertin P. The Olympic idea. Discourses and Essays. Schorndorf: Hofmann; 1967.

7 AWAKE! The Olympics?—Where Are They Headed? [cited 13 Apr 2020].  Awake!; 1977. Available at:

Article Details

Special issue - Tokyo Olympic Games: postponement or cancellation?