- Japanese PM announced that Tokyo 2020 will be postponed
- The Games join other sporting events that have been cancelled or postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that were slated to begin on July 24 have been postponed.
In a joint statement from IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, it was agreed that the 2020 games will be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the [World Health Organization] 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,” according to a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.
The statement further indicated that the decision was made to safeguard the health of the athletes and everyone involved in the games.
They further informed that the Olympic flame would remain in Japan as well maintain the name ‘Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.’
President Bach replied that he fully supports my proposal, and we agreed that the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held no later than the summer of 2021. We concurred that going forward, Japan will work in close cooperation with IOC President Bach
— PM's Office of Japan (@JPN_PMO) March 24, 2020
The modern Olympics, first held in Athens in 1896, have only ever been canceled for World War I (1916) and World War II (1940 and 1944).
The chief executive of the British Olympic Association Andy Anson voiced his favor towards the decision.
“It would have been unthinkable for us to continue to prepare for an Olympic Games at a time the nation and the world no less is enduring great hardship. A postponement is the right decision,” said Anson.
Several Olympians have welcomed the decision.
Alistair Brownlee, UK, double Olympic triathlon champion said: ‘It was evidently a tough decision…but in my opinion the right one.
Dina Asher Smith, 2019 200m World Champion, took to Instagram and uploaded a picture of her in action with the caption ‘#Tokyo2021, Same Race, New dates.’
View this post on Instagram
All in all a very wise decision to postpone the Olympics until 2021. I look forward to come back to Japan to defend my Olympic title next year and look forward to witness a wonderful event. I wish everybody good health in these challenging times. pic.twitter.com/jrhsFEe545
— Eliud Kipchoge – EGH🇰🇪 (@EliudKipchoge) March 24, 2020