TOKYO (AP) — IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.
Abe said after his telephone talks with Bach that he requested a postponement of about one year “taking into consideration the current circumstances” and to secure an environment in which athletes can perform in their best conditions and the sense of safety and security for the audience.
Abe held telephone talks with Bach after the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.
TOKYO — According to a press release, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will likely be postponed to 2021 due to the qualifying events being disrupted worldwide after the spread of COVID-19 in many countries.
Longtime International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound confirmed the Games’ postponement, according to USA TODAY.
This comes as the number of coronavirus cases rises above 350,000 globally. Also as a result of the virus numerous athletes and National Olympic Committees have stated that they are unable to continue training in this environment and this unprecedented situation has been a cause of great concern.
According to officials, Tokyo 2020 held an urgent video conference with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach Sunday night, during which it was upon agreed upon to proceed with detailed discussions of different scenarios, including postponement of the Games, in full coordination with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, relevant Japanese authorities, international sport federations and National Olympic Committees.
As the IOC has stated, due to the extreme complexity of the Games, a final decision has not been reached at this time, and discussions will be finalized within the next four weeks. Cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Games is not on the agenda.
IOC made the following statement in regards to COVID-19 as it relates to the Olympics:
Our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis, and we will continue to prioritize the safety of athletes, spectators and all other Games participants. As we closely monitor infection trends, we will dedicate ourselves to examining detailed plans for different scenarios, including opening the Games on 24 July, in accordance with the agreement reached yesterday with the IOC.
IOC also stated that they would continue to work closely with all relevant organizations to meet the expectations of the athletes who have been training along with the fans who have been looking forward to the Games.
Officials plan to be united in decision making over the games to overcome this crisis.
President Bach stated, “[we] wish that… the Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel.” With this said, IOC plans to therefore exert every possible effort to overcome this challenge and deliver the Games, a press release stated.