The 2020 Olympic Games, originally scheduled to occur in Tokyo from 24 July to 9 August 2020, will be delayed in light of the new coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) announced on Tuesday.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 organising committee commented that “the unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating.”
The statement said that “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 announcement follows Abe’s declaration on Monday that a decision to postpone the Games “could become inevitable” if the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to organise them in safe conditions.
It has not yet been decided exactly when the new games will take place, with IOC president Thomas Bach saying it too early to propose a new date as of yet, as Sporza reports, but what is sure is that “the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
According to a thread of tweets from the Prime Minister’s office, “Japan will work in close cooperation with IOC President Bach in order to hold the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in a complete form, as proof that humankind has defeated the novel coronavirus disease.”