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[Update] Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 To Be Postponed
Mar 24, 2020
Main image via Straits Times
Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee President, Thomas Bach has agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics until 2021. Prime Minister Abe said that the postponement was the most appropriate response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Japanese Prime Minister also said that the postponement would be the best way to ensure the athletes to be in peak condition.
The games will still be called Tokyo 2020 even if they are held next year.
Joint Statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee The President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to COVID-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. President Bach and Prime Minister Abe expressed their shared concern about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games. In a very friendly and constructive meeting, the two leaders praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against COVID-19. The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is "accelerating". There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour. In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community. The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Earlier, International Olympic Committee member, Dick Pound announced that the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The details and dates of the games have not been finalized yet, but it is expected to be held in 2021.
Earlier this morning, The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee called for the postponement of the games.
The Canada and Australia has made it clear a day before that they will not be sending their athletes to the Tokyo Olympics unless it’s postponed for a year.
The Australian Olympic Committee says for now, its athletes should prioritize their health and safety, amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
Info via Sports Illustrated