World Health Organization fully supports decision to postpone 2020 Olympics

Darnell Taylor
March 27, 2020

The Tokyo Olympics need new dates for the opening and closing ceremonies in 2021.

Around 57% of the 11,000 scheduled participants for Tokyo had already made sure of taking part when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pushed the Games back to 2021 due to the coronavirus on Tuesday.

The modern Olympics have been cancelled five times (once for World War I and four times for World War II), including the scrapped 1940 Summer and Winter Games which Japan had been selected to host in Tokyo and Sapporo, respectively.

Minutes later, Abe emerged to inform a gaggle of reporters that he had just spoken with Thomas Bach, the IOC's president, and that they had agreed to officially delay the Tokyo Olympics.

"Given the subtleties and the coy nature of the International Olympic Committee, I wouldn't put it past them to have planted some seeds in order to create this wave", Michael Naraine, an assistant professor with Brock University's department of sport management, said Tuesday.

For some athletes, an extra 12 months might be too long and 38-year-old Swiss Nicola Spirig, who won triathlon gold at the 2012 London Olympics, said she would be considering her options.

Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori, an 82-year former prime minister and cancer survivor, pointed to his own health battles as inspiration for the hard times ahead.

Great Barrier Reef 'suffers third mass bleaching in five years'
Aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of the Whitsunday Islands, along the central coast of Queensland. In the case of the Great Barrier Reef, warmer waters in the area cause destructive and widespread coral bleaching .

"Not only the venues but the Athletes' Village, training sites, storages and what not".

Organisers are adamant that such a complex multi-sport event could not be moved and want to avoid forcing domestic sports stars like Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Peaty to chose between a home Commonwealth Games and a world championships.

The event will still be called Tokyo 2020.

The Olympic men's football tournament is restricted to under-23 players.

The 57 percent of athletes who had already booked spots in Tokyo face a wait to discover whether they will have to qualify again, although Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) chief executive Matt Carroll said they would not.

"From now we take on an unprecedented challenge", organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori told some 30 members of the group confronted with the daunting task of reworking the preparations of the last six years.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article