Amid the further spread of the COVID-19 virus and the inability for athletes to properly train, a joint statement involving the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo alongside Mori Yoshiro, the President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee; the Olympic Minister, Hashimoto Seiko; the Governor of Tokyo, Koike Yuriko; the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission, John Coates; IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper; and the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director, Christophe Dubi; agreed to postpone the games.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO 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.
With the unprecedented and unpredictable spread, the outbreak has seen across the globe the situation in the world is deteriorating. On Mar. 23, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is “accelerating.” There are now more than 375,000 cases of COVID-19 recorded worldwide, and it is present in nearly every country, with numbers growing by the hour.
“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 would stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games would keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said the official statement.