MANILA — The Summer Olympics originally scheduled this year in Tokyo was officially postponed on Tuesday night.
The decision was agreed upon by the International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a conference call with other officials of the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee as the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic continues to grow.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO (World Health Organization) 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 joint statement of the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee read.
Before the announcement, both the IOC and Abe hinted that the postponement of the quadrennial meet, originally scheduled from July 24 till August 9, would be the viable option at this point.
Abe said on Monday that delaying the games could be the only way to neutralize Covid-19 in the Japanese capital.
Then on Tuesday, IOC member Dick Pound said his organization has already resolved to postpone the games.
The postponement was made formal during the conference call.
“President Bach and Prime Minister 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,” the joint statement bared what went down in the conference call, which was described as “very friendly and constructive.”
Both leaders now look at the meet as part of the rebuilding the world would do after the pandemic.
“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,” the statement read.
Despite technically becoming the 2021 Olympiad, the official name of the Tokyo Summer Olympics and the ensuing Paralympics, Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 would be kept. (ia/PNA)