KUCHING, March 25: The world’s biggest sporting event, the Olympic Games to be held in Tokyo, Japan and scheduled to be held from July 24, 2020 has been postponed to summer next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
International Olympic Committee (OIC) president Thomas Bach made the announcement in Tokyo last night in the presence of Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.
According to the IOC statement, both Bach and Abe expressed their shared concern about the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic, and what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the games.
In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the IOC president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Tokyo Olympics 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 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,” reads the statement.
The two leaders also praised the work of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and noted the great progress being made in Japan to fight against Covid-19.
“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the Covid-19 pandemic is “accelerating”. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour,” the statement disclosed.
The games which started in 1896 was first cancelled during the First World war in 1916. It was also cancelled during the Second World War, where Japan was the country which was supposed to host the games.
By contrast, in 2016, the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, went on as scheduled despite scientists’ warnings about the Zika virus.
The next Olympics after Tokyo are the 2022 Beijing Winter Games, followed by the 2024 Paris Summer Games, followed by the 2026 Winter Games in Milan and Cortina, Italy. — DayakDaily