In a conference call this morning, the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
After Canada announced that it would not be sending teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo if they were held this summer, the pressure continued to mount on the IOC to postpone the event. On Sunday Sebastian Coe, the head of World Athletics, said the Games would have to be postponed and on Monday Australia also announced that it would be pulling out of the Games if they were held this summer.
Yesterday we reported that former IOC vice-president Dick Pound had said that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics would have to be postponed because of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, and would probably take place next year – now we have confirmation of that in a statement from the IOC:
“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.”
Joint Statement from the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committeehttps://t.co/XNcaa4Gvx8
— Olympics (@Olympics) March 24, 2020
This is the first time an Olympic Games has been postponed, although they were cancelled in 1916 (World War 1) and 1940 and 1944 (World War II).