Official News: Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus

2020 Summer Olympics
2020 Summer Olympics: IOC Member Says It Will Be Postponed

Games to be rescheduled beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.

On Tuesday, what even the most optimistic of sports fans must have suspected all along, was confirmed: The Tokyo Olympics will now be postponed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis.

After a conference call on Tuesday morning that saw President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other stakeholders discuss the latest developments, it was announced that Tokyo 2020 will be pushed back to a later date.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach walks with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the ‘One Year to Go’ ceremony celebrating one year out from the start of the summer games on July 24, 2019. (Reuters)

The official IOC statement said: “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.”

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The announcement brings to an end a prolonged saga of indecision. Late on Monday night, a comment by IOC member Dick Pound in USA Today had all but confirmed a delay was a mere formality.

“The parameters going forward have not been determined but the games are not going to start on 24 July, that much I know,” he said. A subsequent statement by the British Olympic Association calling for postponement made the UK the latest country unwilling to risk the health of its athletes.

The cancellation was the unavoidable conclusion of a series of events and announcements made over the previous 48 hours.

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Around the world, major sporting leagues, competitions, and activities had long been suspended, including football’s Euro 2020, which was pushed back to 2021. And yet the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics had stubbornly held their ground.

“Following a conference call this morning, led by the President Dr Thomas Bach, and the Asian Olympic Committee to discuss the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the preparation for Tokyo 2020, Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee and its president Prince Abdul Aziz Turki Al-Faisal express their full support to the efforts of the IOC, in collaboration WHO, to overcome this very critical time,” the statement said.

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