• The decision: the Games will be in 2021: the third war that stops Olympism
  • The schedule.A nightmare for athletics, relief for the NBA
  • Consequences: A blow to the golden age of Spanish sport

“The postponement was the most reasonable and sensible. The most important thing now is that we overcome this virus, "said the canoeist Saúl Craviotto , possible standard-bearer at the Tokyo 2021 Olympics." It doesn't hurt a bit to have to postpone it all 365 days, "added athlete Ana Peleteiro . "We are all much more relieved, our anxiety has lessened, we couldn't prepare for the Games like this," explained swimmer Jessica Vall . And this is how the vast majority of the Spanish Olympians felt, that last night from Tuesday to Wednesday they were able to sleep soundly. The uncertainty for having to train confined for the competition of his life disappeared. Now a new phase begins in which it is time to break into pieces the training plans devised for this 2020 and focus on reaching next year -almost certainly summer- in excellent shape. In principle, the situation is better than at the beginning of the week, but now for athletes new doubts have been opened that, in the coming months, different organizations will have to solve.


Many of the Olympic athletes are little more than mileuristas and their solvency depends on scholarships and sponsorships. Well, all those questioned do not know what their salary will be from August, when the current Olympic cycle ends. The ADO Plan -which already fell from 31 to 22 million with respect to the cycle of the Rio Games- will suffer to last a year, the Federations already suffered to save 2020 this week with more than 50 million from the Higher Sports Council ( CSD) and the rest of public-private aid did not contemplate one more year of spending. "Everyone will keep their scholarships and grants," said Alejandro Blanco , president of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE), but the body acknowledged that it still cannot explain how it will be done.

Yesterday the Government specified that federations and sports clubs will be able to avail themselves of their guarantees to obtain credits, but the measure will only alleviate a few. Many Spanish federations already accumulate an exaggerated debt and increasing it would lead to bankruptcy. In collective sports, like handball, water polo or field hockey, who live from their clubs, it could be an interesting solution.

In any case, right now the only simple thing to extend is the residency scholarships in the different High Performance Centers. Everything else is in the air. Like contracts with sponsors. Many brands signed with athletes until the end of the Olympic cycle and, in the context of the looming economic crisis, the renovations will be complicated. Yesterday the Hero brand already announced that it will expand the help it provides to the career of the windsurfer Blanca Manchón , but it was the only one. “At the sporting level, the postponement is good news, but I still suffer at the work level. I do not see it clearly, "confessed yesterday a renowned athlete.


In this there are no doubts ... in most cases. Different international federations have already announced that they will keep the place to those who already have it fixed and that only the Pre-Olympics and championships that were left to be held in early March will be held, when the coronavirus crisis broke out. For practical purposes, the 2020 calendar will be divided into two, part this year, part next year. There are only two open questions: the rankings and the national teams. As for the rankings that grant places, each sport is different, but it seems clear that they will be expanded to accommodate events that could not be held. That is, if three World Cup events were suspended, they will wait until they are held and then the best of the list will be given a ticket, as stipulated. The national selective are something else. Sailing, for example, will respect the selections already made, but canoeing was pending and swimming was half done. In the Spanish Swimming Federation they admitted yesterday that they have to study what to do to ensure that those swimmers who are in better shape will go to Tokyo 2021 in a year, not now.


Beyond those who had already announced or hinted at his retirement after Tokyo 2020 and now must decide whether to stay active for another year, such as Pau Gasol , Raúl Entrerríos or Alejandro Valverde , there is another question: what will happen to the footballers? The men's tournament is the only one that has an age restriction, it is for those under 23 years old, and its International Federation (FIFA) has to specify something about it.

If the norm is maintained, some soccer players will have to forget to be Olympic. In the Spanish case, even more if the three exceptional places were reserved for veterans who have shown their interest in attending as Ramos or Piqué , they would not be able to attend the Games of the current group such as Dani Ceballos , Fabián Ruiz or Pau Torres . The Spanish Federation considers that the normal thing is that a logical exception is made and this time the 24-year-old players can come, but, as with so many things at the moment, the definitive answers still nobody knows. The when has been clarified. The how is to be defined.

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