UPDATE – March 24 — The IOC and Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe announced today that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed until no later than summer 2021.
In a post on Instagram the Tokyo 2020 Olympics account wrote, “To safeguard the health of the athletes, and everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games will now take place no later than summer 2021. This decision was made following talks today by the International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, and representatives from the Government of Japan.”
The move to postpone the 2020 Olympics is unprecedented. Never before have the games been postponed due to a health crisis. There are now more than 415,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the globe, with more than 18,000 deaths. The US has over 51,000 cases with 667 deaths from the virus.
ORIGINAL STORY — Another postponement will hit the world hard if an IOC (International Olympic Committee ) member who revealed that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed is correct.
IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that the games will be postponed until 2021.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in an interview with USA Today. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
According to Pound, the announcement should come from IOC soon. “It will come in stages,” he said of the upcoming announcement. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
A response, contradicting Pound’s statement, came from IOC spokesperson Mark Adams. “It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced yesterday,” he told the outlet.
The statement made yesterday that Adams is referring was given by the IOC Executive Board and IOC President Thomas Bach, who has not decided on postponement but was adamant that the games would not be cancelled.
“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,” the statement reads. “Cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Games is not on the agenda.”
“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,” the statement adds. “We will continue to work closely with all relevant organizations in order to meet the expectations of the athletes who have been training day and night and the fans who have been looking forward to the Games for so long.”
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“As we seek to address this unique situation, close coordination with many partners, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, Tokyo 2020 marketing partners, broadcasters, suppliers and contractors, will be essential. We must be more united than ever in our response. Regardless, what is important now is that the world come together to overcome this crisis. As President Bach stated, “[we] wish that… the Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel.” We will therefore exert every possible effort to overcome this challenge and deliver the Games.”
According to CBS Sports, the International Olympic Committee vice president Anita DeFrantz is unaware of the decision to postpone. “If that is the case, then you know more than a vice-president of the International Olympic Committee,” she said. “It would be news to me.”
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Hope has begun lighting our way in Japan. 🔥 . Until 26 March, the flame will be exhibited in the Tohoku Region, one of the areas most affected by the 2011 earthquake, to share the message of recovery and the relay concept of #HopeLightsOurWay for #Tokyo2020. 🇯🇵 . #OlympicTorchRelay 🙌 @olympics @tokyo2020seika @olympicchannel . Photo by Tokyo 2020 / Erika SHIMAMOTO