IOC and Japan Officially Postpone 2020 Olympics

Jordan Cohn
March 24, 2020 - 6:08 am

The 2020 Olympics will not take place in 2020 after all.

Tuesday morning, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shared that his proposal of a one-year postponement was met with support from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and that the organization's president, Thomas Bach, agreed "100%" to the concept (via the Associated Press). Soon after, a statement was issued on the official website of the Olympic Games.

In the joint statement between the IOC and Japan, it is stated that a conclusion was made 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".

No date has been announced yet as to an official rescheduling of the games.

Abe brought up his proposal on Monday after an outpouring of concern from various countries' Olympic teams. Among those teams were the US Swim and Track and Field teams, speaking to the safety and health of the athletes and the inadequacy of such an environment in providing proper conditions.

Countries such as Canada and Australia publicly stated that they would opt not to participate in the 2020 Olympics at all under such difficult circumstances, leading to a feeling that a postponement or cancellation was becoming more and more inevitable by the day.

A decision from the IOC was reportedly to come in the next four weeks, but action has been taken more quickly.

This goes against what IOC senior member Dick Pound had said late in February, stating that the games were more likely to be canceled entirely than postponed or simply moved. However, as circumstances have rapidly developed and our knowledge of the illness has evolved, a year-long delay may be enough of a postponement to ensure athlete safety barring another decision down the stretch.

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