Joe Apu, with agency reports
The much awaited postponement of the 2020 Olympics, scheduled to begin July 24 in Tokyo has been announced as it would now hold “no later than summer 2021” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a statement by the International Olympic Committee, which made the announcement of the decision, Tuesday, the Games had to be moved amid mounting pressure from athletes and various stakeholders.
“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,” the IOC said in a statement.
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said, Tuesday morning, that he spoke with IOC President, Thomas Bach, and they agreed to push back the games around a year to the summer of 2021. They were scheduled to begin on July 24, 2020, and initially Japanese officials seemed determined to keep the spectacle on schedule.
“We have agreed that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held by the summer of 2021, at the latest,” Abe said.
Abe said he and Bach were in “100 per cent agreement” that the Summer Olympics needed to be delayed for the safety of the athletes and spectators.
Canada became the first country to announce its athletes would not participate in the Olympics on Sunday night. Australia and Norway followed suit, as Japan’s decision became inevitable.