IOC Chief, Japanese Prime Minister Agree To Postpone Tokyo Olympics Until 2021


Tuesday, March 24th 2020, 3:45 am
By: Associated Press


IOC President Thomas Bach has agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the Tokyo Olympics for about one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday.

Abe said after his telephone talks with Bach that he requested a postponement of about one year “taking into consideration the current circumstances” and to secure an environment in which athletes can perform in their best conditions and the sense of safety and security for the audience.

Abe held telephone talks with Bach after the IOC said it would make a decision on the Tokyo Games over the next four weeks.

The IOC has faced pressure to postpone the Olympic Games, which are scheduled to start July 24, amid the coronavirus pandemic. The USOPC surveyed more than 4,000 athletes and nearly seven in 10 U.S. Olympic hopefuls say they don't think the Tokyo Games will be fair if they are held in July, prompting leaders of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to conclude "it's more clear than ever that the path toward postponement is the most promising."

Sixty-nine percent said they would feel comfortable competing in July if the World Health Organization — one of the groups consulting with the IOC — deemed it safe. But virtually that same number — 68% — said they didn't think the Olympics would be fair under those circumstances.

The best explanation for that has been the massive disruption in training schedules, as athletes prepare for qualifying events this spring and summer.

On Monday, veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound believed the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed, according to USA Today.

Pound told USA Today the games will likely be played in 2021, with all the details to be worked out in the next few weeks. He said the IOC is expected to announce its next steps soon.