The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has committed to awarding the next three unscheduled Olympics – the 2030 and 2034 Winter Games and 2032 Summer Games – by the end of this calendar year.
An unnamed IOC source has revealed that despite the intense effort that will be required to reorganized the Tokyo 2020 Olympics now set to open one year late – on July 23, 2021 – and amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, officials hope to nail down future host cities as soon as possible.
Okay – full disclosure.
This year April 1 has fallen during a very unfunny time, and we have decided to let you in on our little joke as quickly as possible. Of course, it’s very likely that most Olympic bid business will slow to a halt this year as more significant concerns fall into focus.
We had weighed the possibility of abandoning our very popular April Fool’s feature altogether this year, feeling that it may be inappropriate during this very stressful and sensitive time for the Olympic community, the world sport community and every other community across the globe.
But instead we took a chance and brought you this one little smile for a short moment. We hope you don’t mind.
Things that were unthinkable just a little while ago are now part of our reality.
This is true even in the rapidly changing Olympics and Olympic bid world. Our 2018 April Fool’s feature laughingly suggested that the IOC would ask cities to hold bid referendums, even in a climate where all such public votes were being defeated. One year later, this ‘ridiculous’ possibility became a reality when new bid reforms requested referendums from cities where it is legal and customary.
What was funny once, is funny no more.
We get the feeling that this applies in so many other areas too, but let’s try to keep our sense of humour even in the most dire times.
Last year on this date I filed our April Fool’s feature from the edge of the Grand Canal in Venice, just ahead of a one-week tour of sport facilities proposed for Italy’s Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo 2026 Winter Olympics. I saw much of beautiful Northern Italy, and venues that were scattered across the map.
At the time, I also wrote about how those spread out venues could be detrimental for Italy’s Olympic bid, but would be essential in ensuring the continuity of the Winter Olympics. Now a different kind of ‘distancing’ has become essential to our way of life.
I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Today I am thinking about the well-being of my friends in hard-hit Italy, Spain and the United States and so many others who have been threatened by COVID-19 around the world. It isn’t the right time to create and file a well-thought practical joke.
We know this isn’t the April Fool’s article you were expecting. But don’t worry, we’ll get you next year – we promise! Until then stay home, save lives and be well!
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