2020 Olympics are officially postponed!
- Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe conceded that a delay to the Tokyo Olympics could be ‘inevitable’
- The Olympics have never been postponed or cancelled during peacetime
- It came as Team Canada announced that it will not participate in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020
- Canadian officials called for the games to be postponed for a year as coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions make it unlikely the games can go ahead
- More than 13,000 people have died globally from the coronavirus pandemic
Japan’s prime minister Shinzo Abe has conceded that a delay to the Tokyo Olympic Games could be ‘inevitable’ as the world continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Abe told parliament that Japan was still committed to hosting a ‘complete’ Games.
“If that becomes difficult, in light of considering athletes first, it may become inevitable that we make a decision to postpone.”Shinzo Abe
Japan’s Prime Minister
The decision came as Team Canada and Team Australia announced they will not be sending athletes if the games are staged this year.
The IOC said on Sunday it would hold discussions that would include an option of putting back the July 24 start date or even moving the Games by a year or more due to the global coronavirus outbreak, but said cancelling the Games would not solve problems or help anybody.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach sent a letter to athletes explaining the decision and why it might take so long, while also acknowledging the extended timeline might not be popular.
“I know that this unprecedented situation leaves many of your questions open……I also know that this rational approach may not be in line with the emotions many of you have to go through.”Thomas Bach
The IOC’s move seemed inevitable for a week with pressure mounting from all quarters – athletes, sponsors, broadcasters and more than 200 national Olympic committees, and international sports federations.
Shortly after Bach’s statement, the Canadian Olympic Committee said it won’t send teams to the Olympics unless the games are postponed by a year. Australia issued a statement saying it was advising its athletes to prepare for an Olympics in 2021.