Olympic delay could prove to be costly for Estonian OC

Estonian Olympic Committee President Urmas Sõõrumaa.
Estonian Olympic Committee President Urmas Sõõrumaa. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Tokyo Olympics were postponed on Tuesday to 2021, the first such delay in the Games' 124-year modern history. The delay entails additional expenses for all parties, including the Estonian Olympic Committee.

"We had invested €250,000 in Team Estonia, a program focused on preparing for the Games," President of the Estonian Olympic Committee Urmas Sõõrumaa told Vikerraadio. "Many training camps have been cancelled now. Organizational costs are mostly related to travelling to the Olympics. We have been there on many occasions to examine the locations; they encompass possible bookings, additional housing in the Olympic Village, possible advance payments. All this adds up to around €118,000. Our budget for travelling to the Games is around €360,000, which will now have to wait for better times."

"The logistics have already been disturbed and this will generate additional expenses, but we are going to sort it out," Sõõrumaa promised.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach said on Wednesday the rescheduled Tokyo Games faced "thousands" of logistical and financial problems but could go ahead before summer 2021.

"The agreement is that we want to organise these Games at the latest in the summer 2021," he told a conference call. "This is not restricted just to the summer months. All the options are on the table including the summer 2021."

The decision to postpone the Games was a huge blow to Japan, which has invested 12 billion US dollars in the run-up, and presents a massive headache to reorganise logistics, funding and sponsorship. "Of course there will be costs," organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said when the postponement was announced. "As for how much, we have no figures with us right now. As for who will shoulder these costs? Needless to say, they are not going to be easy discussions, so we are not sure how long they will take."

The Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei put the added cost at 2.7 billion US dollars, citing an estimate from local organizers.


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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