AGENCIES, Switzerland: Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister and the head of the International Olympic Committee has agreed to postpone the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by a year on Tuesday in an extraordinary move, unprecedented in peacetime, as the world battles the coronavirus pandemic.
“I proposed to postpone for about a year and president Bach responded with 100 percent agreement,” Shinzo Abe said while referring to Thomas Bach, head of the International Olympics Committee (IOC).
Abe hinted the same during a parliamentary session Monday after the IOC announced Sunday that the group has decided to step up scenario-planning for the 2020 Tokyo Games in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s no secret that in the past few weeks a large number of sporting events have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. And since the virus shows no signs of abating, the fate of a premium global sporting event like the Tokyo Olympic Games, set for this summer was on tenterhooks.
On Monday, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed, likely to 2021.
The committees’ decisions came hours after International Olympic Committee’s executive board said it is considering postponing — but not canceling — this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The IOC board said it had several options to deal with the ongoing outbreak, including modifying plans to allow the 2020 Tokyo Games to begin on schedule on July 24 or changing the start date for the Games.
The IOC executive board ruled out canceling the Games. It said that by doing so it would “destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes” and all those who support them, according to a letter to athletes from IOC president Thomas Bach.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that a decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics may be needed if the Games cannot be held in a complete form.
After Australia and Canada officially declared to opt out of the event, Shinzo Abe hinted that he didn’t favour an incomplete event to happen and thus opened up to the idea of proposing a one-year postponement for the Tokyo Olympics with IOC President Thomas Bach.
Abe had hinted the same during a parliamentary session Monday after the IOC announced Sunday that the group has decided to step up scenario-planning for the 2020 Tokyo Games in reaction to the coronavirus pandemic.