Breaking: Tokyo Olympics postponed until 2021
- Tokyo Olympics will be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Games will likely be moved to the summer of 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.
In what seemed inevitable due to the pandemic proportions of the Covid-19 outbreak, the 2020 Summer Olympics has been postponed until 2021.
Major sporting nations Australia and Canada withdrew on Monday as organisers increasingly came under global pressure from participating nations. The Olympics will be postponed for the first time in its modern history, having been cancelled thrice owing to World Wars I and II in 1912, 1940, and 1944. Apart from this, Cold War boycotts had disrupted the Moscow Games in 1980 and the Los Angeles Games in 1984.
Japan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have said repeatedly that calling off the Games entirely is not an option. Senior IOC member Dick Pound said that a postponement of this year's Olympics is now inevitable as the world reels from the coronavirus pandemic. He told USA Today
“Probably what turned the tide in the last couple of days is the curve on the Covid-19 virus. It is getting very, very steep now and this is clearly not something that is going to be under control by June or July and probably not by the end of the year.”
A one-year postponement is likely to be the best solution to the crisis that has enveloped the world and by extension the sporting events. This effectively means that the Tokyo Olympics Games scheduled from 24 July to 9 August 2020 will be moved to the summer of 2021.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was banking on a massive boom in tourism and consumer spending, told the nation's parliament that they have been left with no more alternatives.
“We may have no option but to consider postponing (the Olympics).”
Pound, 78, the longest-serving IOC member expects the announcements of next steps soon. The Olympics would be the latest – and easily the most significant sporting event to be adversely affected by the pandemic that started its outbreak from Wuhan province in China in December 2019.Published 24 Mar 2020, 12:29 IST