Tokyo Olympics to be postponed to 2021 in wake of COVID-19

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The biggest sporting event on the summer calendar has finally agreed to postpone until next year due to the

The biggest sporting event on the summer calendar has finally agreed to postpone until next year.

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games that were scheduled to begin on July 24, have been officially pushed back due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has come to an agreement with International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach in order to shift the games to 2021 due to a concern over “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 a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the two didn’t give an official date they would postpone two, however, said that the games “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.”

Both Bach and Shinzo point to the growing concerns from the World Health Organization as their biggest reason for pushing the Games of the XXXII Olympiad back.

“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating,” reads the joint statement. “Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (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.”

For Canadian Athletes there were mixed emotions. “Waking up this morning and seeing that the Olympics are officially postponed, you know it’s disappointing but somewhat of a relief I guess it’s in the best interest of everyone so I think it’s almost a good thing.” Said team Canada Men’s Rugby Sevens player Pat Kay.

Former Canadian rower Dave Calder, who competed in four Olympics said it was the right choice. “Every day the situation is changing. And it doesn’t matter, a four-year cycle is still insignificant in comparison to somebody’s life.” Calder said.

The official postponement of the event comes on the heels of Team Canada announcing they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo in 2020.

On Sunday, the Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement that “it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games. In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow.”

The COC added Canadians would not compete unless the games were pushed back to 2021.

Despite these games being held in 2021, they will still be called and branded as Tokyo 2020.


Graham CoxGraham Cox

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