Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Tuesday, March 24; that the Tokyo Olympics are postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said in the announcement he had reached an agreement with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, according to CNN.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO (World Health Organisation) today; 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 statement reads.
“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.”
Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee; said on Monday the organization had already decided that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be postponed due to the pandemic.
“On the basis of the information, the IOC has, the postponement has been decided,” Pound said in an interview with USA Today.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
The IOC did not officially announce the postponement of the Games at that time but said on Sunday that it would formally decide that in four weeks’ time.