The 2020 Summer Olympics, due to have taken place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, have been rescheduled to a date after 2020 but not later than the northern summer of next year, the organising committee announced today.
International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Japanese prime minister Abe Shinzo held a press conference this morning to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the Olympics.
In their statement, these parties expressed concern about the pandemic and what it was doing to people’s lives and, in particular, the significant impact it was having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games.
“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating.
“Yesterday the director general of the World Health Organisation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the pandemic is ‘accelerating’. There are more than 375 000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour,” read the statement.
They said they decided to postpone the event to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Games and the international community.
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present.
“Therefore, it was agreed that the flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”