The decision on the postponement was a long time coming after requests from various athletes.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Organizing Committee of the Tokyo Olympic games have decided to postpone the Olympics to 2021 due to rising concerns about Coronavirus Pandemic all across the globe.
Shortly after the decision was made public, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach spoke to the press, where Abe made it clear there is no chance that the games would be cancelled. He also said that the postponement is the only feasible option with everything happening around the world
“We agreed that a postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators,” said Abe.
A joint statement by The IOC and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee read, “The Games 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 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games will continue to be called the ‘Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020’ even if they are held next year, and the Olympic flame will stay in Japan as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times.”
The decision on the postponement was a long time coming after requests from various athletes, sports organizations and the Governments. The Canadian Olympic Committee and Australian Olympic Committee even decided not to send their athletes in July. Canadian Prime Minister gave his thoughts on the decisions, “I know this is heartbreaking for so many people, athletes, coaches, staff and fans but this was absolutely the right call and everyone should follow their lead.”
The head of health and safety for London 2012, Lawrence Waterman, had urged the IOC to postpone the Games by saying, “These Games need to be postponed, and the sooner the IOC and the Japanese government face up to this the better. It’s simply not safe to put the games on during a global pandemic,”
He added, “People’s safety and health should come before the costs of delaying contracts. The London Games were the first in history to be completed without a single fatality, we set the standard on health and safety at the Olympics.”
The decision was welcomed by all the top countries and their sports federations but the postponement will come as a blow to the host country, which has spent more than $12bn on the event, while huge sums are also at stake for sponsors and broadcasters.
Goldman Sachs estimated this month that Japan would lose $4.5bn (550bn yen) in inbound and domestic consumption in 2020 if the Olympics did not take place as planned.