The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games have been pushed back by one year, organizers have announced.
The announcement by the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee on March 24, put to an end the lengthy debate and anxiety that clouded the minds of thousands of athletes and fans alike over the fate of the biggest sporting event globally.
The games postponement was arrived at due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The games were originally scheduled to be held from 24 July – 9 August 2020 in Japan but they will now take place next year due to the developing global health situation.
The games will, however, retain the Tokyo 2020 name.
“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 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 Olympic 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 Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” a joint statement by the IOC and the Tokyo Games LOC read in parts.
This is a first for the Summer Games that have been postponed for the first time. Before this, the Olympics had only been cancelled during wartime.
“Given the situation of the pandemic we agreed it would be difficult to hold the Games inside (this) year which is why we decided to postpone for around a year.” Japan’s Prime Minister was quoted by the Olympic Channel.
Canada and Australia were the first countries to pull out of the games before the IOC made the latest pronouncement.