Tokyo Olympics Will Be Postponed Because Of Coronavirus Concerns

Wednesday, 25 Mar, 2020

Pound told The Canadian Press in a phone interview he expects the July 24 start of the Olympics to be pushed back.

In a newspaper report Pound said the games were likely now to be held in 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.

"We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are enormous", Pound said.

The announcement, which came after Abe's call with Bach, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori and Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto, means the games will be postponed for the first time ever during peacetime.

Bach also said the International Olympic Committee will try to reach a decision within the next four weeks, but he emphasized that the International Olympic Committee has ruled out canceling the games.

When asked about Pound's claim that the Olympics will in fact be postponed, the International Olympic Committee would only say they are looking at "scenarios".

The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee has joined those calling for the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The AOC made the announcement in a statement, where they said that "athletes now need to prioritize their own health and of those around them". The games were scheduled to begin July 24 and end August 9 in Tokyo. "We should not put the health of the athletes at risk in this battle we should be fighting together".

The Spanish Olympic Committee said: "We have always said that the Tokyo 2020 Games should be held in equal conditions for everyone, something which is not possible in the current situation".

The viral outbreak has taken a heavy toll on the world of sports.

Bach also said canceling the 2020 Summer Olympics outright wasn't a possibility. With this in mind, it was revealed today that the Olympics would be postponed.

The Olympic Games have never been postponed before, however they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during the two world wars.

Major sporting nations Australia and Canada had already withdrawn on Monday as organizers came under global pressure to postpone the event for the first time in the Olympics' 124-year modern history.

He said the pandemic has compromised athletes' training and preparation "irreparably" and they need to stop thinking about Tokyo 2020 and "be home and safe with their families".

"Although I am upset that the Olympics will not be happening this year, I agree that this is the best decision in order to keep the athletes and spectators healthy and to prevent the virus from spreading further", USA gymnast Morgan Hurd said in a tweet, reacting to Pound's comments.