TOKYO: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation the games couldn’t plow ahead as scheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) made the choice after chatting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and native organisers.
The IOC said the games would be held not later than the summer of 2021 but they might still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In the present circumstances and supported the knowledge provided by the WHO, IOC president Thomas Bach and therefore 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 within the Olympic Games and therefore the international community, the IOC said during a statement.
Before the official announcement, Abe said Bach had agreed together with his proposal for a one-year postponement.
The decision came only a couple of hours after local organisers said the torch relay would start as planned on Thursday. Those plans also would be changed now.
For the nonce, the flame is going to be stored and displayed in Fukushima, organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said.
The Olympics haven’t before been postponed, and have only ever previously been canceled in wartime.
The IOC and Tokyo organizers said they hope the choice to postpone will help the planet heal from the pandemic.
The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the planet during these troubled times which the Olympic flame could become the sunshine at the top of the tunnel during which the planet finds itself at the present, the IOC statement said.
Therefore, it had been agreed that the Olympic flame would stay in Japan. it had been also agreed that the Games would keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.