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Coronavirus in sport: Carl Lewis wants Olympics to be held in 2022

Carl Lewis

Bengaluru, March 23: America's champion athlete Carl Lewis called for the 2020 athletics season to be scrapped and July's Tokyo Games to be postponed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With the dreaded coronavirus having claimed more than 10,000 deaths across the globe, many want the Tokyo Olympics postponed for a year.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) too said that it was studying that possibility.

IOC sets four-week deadline for Tokyo Games decision amid coronavirus crisis

However, the nine-time Olympic gold medallist said the reasonable thing to do would be delay the Games until 2022.

"We could move it two years and have both (the Summer and Winter) Olympics the same year, like it used to be," Lewis was quoted as saying in a telephonic interview with Reuters news agency.

"That would give athletics a championship meet every year for the next four years. We would have two World Championships (in 2021 and 2023) between an Olympics (in 2022)," with the Paris Olympics in 2024, he added.

It would also not clash with the 2022 FIFA World Cup which is scheduled to be held from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.

With the uncertainty now of whether there will be a Games in 2020 and the tightening of people's movement by governments to try to control the virus, "we're in the twilight zone," Lewis said.

"I don't think the Olympics are going to happen, but, we've to prepare as we're going," he added.

Cancelling not an option

Though there are many who want the game to be cancelled, Lewis was against such a drastic move.

"Cancelling the Olympics isn't an option," the former sprinter and long jumper said.

"It's just too big an event for everyone not to have it," Lewis said. "Athletes deserve to have it.

"It's no one's fault but everyone's problem."

But Lewis insisted that decisions need to be made by the IOC and other stake holders soon.

"No decision keeps everyone in limbo. We can't get on with our lives until we know what's going on," said Lewis.

The 58-year-old also wanted the 2020 season to be wiped out completely.

"Let's wipe the season clean, focus on the 2021 World Championships and get it together. It's going to hurt a lot, but wipe it clean."

(With inputs from Agencies)

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Story first published: Monday, March 23, 2020, 9:47 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 23, 2020
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