ANY GIVEN MONDAY (Wednesday edition)
The ripple effects of the postponement of Tokyo 2020 will be felt far and wide.
The decision taken by the International Olympic Committee in conjunction with the Tokyo organisers and Shinzo Abe's Government to postpone the Games for a year was the only one left to them, but it doesn't negate the downstream effects.
Here's just one small Olympic tale to illustrate the upheaval caused by Covid-19.
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David Nyika has already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. He's still just 24 and has the face of a man much better at avoiding a punch than taking one, but don't let that fool you – it's been a long and winding road to get to this point.
Nyika won Commonwealth Games gold as a light heavyweight in Glasgow in 2014, a result that pointed to a bright future. The following year he went to Rio as part of a Sky Next delegation, checking out the city, some of the venues and filming a bunch of preview items for the network.
He wouldn't be back the following year, missing qualification after finishing on the wrong side of results against Uzbekistan's Rustam Tuluganov at consecutive tournaments, then losing on points to the Netherlands' Roy Korving in a last-ditch qualification competition in Azerbaijan.
The process was bruising, inside and out, and expensive. Nyika, a New Zealander of Ugandan, Welsh and English descent, didn't know whether it was feasible to plan his life around Tokyo, which at the time seemed a lot longer than four years away.
He had options, but in the end those five rings had become imprinted on his psyche. He had to give it another shot. He made some changes, stepped up to heavyweight and won gold again at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
This month, after weeks of trying desperately to stay a step ahead of a pandemic – including, as bizarre as it now reads, attending training camp in central Italy – he crossed the threshold, winning through to the final of the Asia-Oceania qualifiers in Jordan with a series of impressive displays.
It was a great story… until a few days ago when it became obvious that Tokyo 2020 would become Tokyo 2021.
Nyika is an amateur fighter. Sure, he gets funding to train and fight, but in many ways amateur boxing is a form of putting your life on hold. Nyika cannot fully commit to another career if he wants to have a real crack in Tokyo next year.
He has no idea if he'll be allowed to take prizefights in the interim as a sort of quasi-professional, or whether it's even realistic to contemplate toggling between the demands of Olympic and professional boxing.
"I wouldn't even know who to ask, LOL," he texted when asked if it was an option.
Postponing the Olympics was the right thing to do. The only thing to do. A year might seem like a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things.
But for athletes, a year is just 365 more days of putting real life on hold.
As mentioned above, the IOC got this right in the end, but got a lot wrong on the way.
If you don't want to come across as the sort of craven organisation that would put profits before people, don't emerge from crisis meetings using rhetoric such as, "The words cancel and postpone were never mentioned," as IOC president Thomas Bach did recently.
Nobody would suggest a decision of this magnitude should be taken lightly but from the moment coronavirus and its deadly effects emerged from Asia, the IOC should have acknowledged it had the possibility to impact on a "fair" Olympics.
Instead we had obfuscation.
Confirmed or potential Olympic athletes were effectively being pressured into continuing their training or qualification campaigns, even in parts of the world where that was becoming increasingly difficult or unsafe. That is worth every bit of the consideration that was given to broadcaster NBC's $1.2 billion of ad sales.