With COVID-19 cases soaring worldwide, and much of Japan under a state of emergency due to a third wave of coronavirus infections, the viability of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics has once again been called into question.
If the Games are cancelled as a result of the pandemic, insurers are facing a US$2-3 billion loss, which would be the largest ever claim in the global event cancellation market, according to a Reuters report.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board is due to meet this week to determine a course of action. Both the IOC and Japanese organizers have stated that a second postponement is out of the question after they delayed the 2020 Tokyo Games by 12 months. As things stand, a total cancellation seems more and more likely.
While the event cancellation insurance market has already taken a huge hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, Simon Henderson, an executive director at Gallagher, told Reuters that cancellation of the Olympics “would be by far the largest [loss].” He said: “The Olympics is a World Cup, it’s a tennis tournament, it’s an athletics tournament. It’s swimming, everything all in one - definitely a huge headache.”
Jefferies analysts have estimated the Tokyo Olympics is insured for approximately US$2 billion, plus a further US$600 million for hospitality.
Cancellation losses will come from multiple sources, not only from the IOC and local organizing committee (who have approximately $800 million and $650 million in coverage respectively), but also from broadcasters, sponsors, professional sports teams, and the many other organizations involved in the Games – many of whom will have already been able to claim some costs as a result of last year’s postponement.
Tim Thornhill, director at the Lloyd’s broker Tysers, told Reuters there was “no rule of thumb” as to how much of the total insured value of an event could be claimed under the postponement section of an event cancellation policy. One thing’s for sure – if the Tokyo Olympic Games are cancelled, the payouts are likely to be much higher than those made for postponement.
According to Reuters, the insurers and reinsurers likely to take the largest hits from a cancellation include Lloyd’s of London insurers, Munich Re (which allegedly has a US$500 million exposure to the Tokyo Olympics), and Swiss Re (which has a US$250 million exposure).
I wasn't greatly impressed at a lot of the men's play in this tournament. Some opponents seemed a lot weaker than in previous rounds, and we did not capitalise enough.
Rokosiloa looked quite useful when he appeared in last match. Nareki and Rayasi did show plenty of improvement in speed of thought. But, I don't know why Mikkelsen was left on the bench so much. Without him out there we just seemed to be in cover mode and starved of possession - and we lacked wide vision when we did have the ball. His aggressive tackling and long passing is really needed. Don't think Baker works as a halfback. Ravouvou looked quite sluggish until the end, and Dickson was not at his best. I can only suppose the plan was to expose the second-tier players to more responsibility in all areas in preparation for World Cup. I just hope we use our best 7 from the outset then, because I don't see us threatening the better teams with our less-experienced second-stringers.
They have to, because - different from the World Series - the World Cup is a knock-out tournament right from the start.
As an aside, a lot of discussion has taken place over the last few years about the branding of the men's sevens team as the "All Blacks Sevens" team. At the time the decision to give them and the NZ Maori team the name "All Blacks" was taken, there was no mention at all about what would happen to the women's teams. I interpreted that as a sign that they didn't see the women's teams as teams that they considered useful for their marketing of the brand "All Blacks" but also that they didn't consider "Black Ferns" as a brand to be marketed.
Things seem to have changed. The "Black Ferns" seem to be becoming a brand of its own, as in the last few articles (basically since Rio), the NZR publications are referring to the women's sevens team as the "Black Ferns Sevens" (they didn't do that before Rio). Whatever you think of extending the XV's names - as brand names - to other teams (I'm not posting this to re-open that discussion), I think it's a good thing that they're now also looking at the women's teams and that they are apparently considered as something that's "brand worthy" (even if not to the same degree as the ABs).
I can only assume this has something to do with the women's silver success at the Olympics and the upcoming Women's Rugby World Cup in 2017.