Coronavirus Update 3/24: IOC Officially Postpones Summer Olympics in Tokyo; Canadian Hockey League Cancels 2020 Memorial Cup

In light of the CDC’s recent recommendations for curbing the spread of the coronavirus, pro sports leagues continue to postpone or cancel seasons and events. Two weeks ago, SVG began posting a regularly updated list of announcements from pro leagues regarding postponed, canceled, or altered events. Below are further announcements, made on Tuesday, March 24. Stay tuned to sportsvideo.org for more information on how the spread of the coronavirus is impacting the sports-production industry.

IOC Officially Cancels 2020 Summer Olympics
After a report on Monday saying that the 2020 Summer Olympics would be postponed, International Olympics Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo confirmed the news in a joint press conference on Tuesday morning.

According to the press conference, the Games will be pushed back to a date “beyond 2020 but no later than summer 2021” and the decision was made “to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community.”

Before the announcement was made, the United States Olympic Committee voiced their opinion to have the Summer Olympics postponed. One team, in particular, that stood out in this report was U.S. Gymnastics.

Canadian Hockey League Cancels 2020 Memorial Cup
An annual tradition in Canada, the Memorial Cup crowns the best major junior hockey team in the country. For the first time in 102, the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) will not hold this year’s tournament. The competition was planned on being held from May 22-31.

“We look forward with hope that next season will provide new opportunity to celebrate, and that the Memorial Cup will be presented at our prestigious national championship, hosted by the OHL in May, 2021,” said the CHL in a statement.

La Liga Indefinitely Suspends Play
After further contemplation with government officials in Spain, La Liga is indefinitely suspending the 2019-20 season. Previously, La Liga was planning on only stopping matches from being played for two weeks. Now, games will not be played until the Spanish government deems them to be safe enough.

“Both the RFEF [Royal Spanish Football Federation] and LaLiga wish to express our greatest public gratitude to all those who are dedicating their best efforts to provide essential services to the Spanish people,” said La Liga in a statement. “We also share our condolences for all the deceased and a warm embrace from the world of football to the many families that are losing loved ones.”