International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound has said that the 2020 Summer Olympics, due to take place in Tokyo this July, will be rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It looks like the event will be postponed until 2021.
Despite officials holding out hope, it looks like the 2020 Summer Olympics will be postponed, with the event likely to take place next year.
Speaking to USA Today, Pound described: “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided.”
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” he continued.
It comes after yesterday both Australia and Canada withdrew from the Games due to concerns around the virus.
Only a week ago the Japanese Olympic minister, Seiko Hashimoto, said that the event was expected to go ahead. The International Olympic Committee echoed these sentiments in a statement, describing “with more than four months to go before the Games there is no need for any drastic decisions at this stage; and any speculation at this moment would be counter-productive.”
Yet the Games has faced criticism for their hesitance to cancel, with four-time gold medalist rower Matthew Pinsent calling the move “tone deaf”. Many have argued that if the Olympics were to go ahead, they would pose a risk to both those in attendance and anyone they might in turn infect. Also, due to self-isolation restrictions, many athletes have been unable to maintain their usual training schedules.
We’ll keep you updated on an official announcement when it comes.
I’m sorry Mr Bach but this is tone deaf. The instinct to keep safe (not to mention obey govt instructions to lock down) is not compatible with athlete training, travel and focus that a looming Olympics demands of athletes, spectators organisers etc Keep them safe. Call it off. https://t.co/nKnEEiVku1
— Matthew Pinsent (@matthewcpinsent) March 18, 2020