The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday. The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.
Earlier, Abe said Bach agreed “100%” to a proposal of postponing the Olympics. 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 said the postponement will be a “testament” to humanity’s victory over the new coronavirus pandemic.
The IOC’s move seemed inevitable for weeks with pressure mounting from all quarters — athletes, sponsors, broadcasters and more than 200 national Olympic committees, and international sports federations.