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 “taking into consideration the current circumstances” and to secure an environment in which athletes can perform at their best and crowds can be safe and secure.
He added that he hoped to reschedule the Olympics as a proof of human victory over the coronavirus pandemic.
"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 IOC said in a statement.
Abe said he expects the pandemic to be over by next year and the Olympics can be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest.
Olympic leaders said they wanted the Tokyo games to "stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times." They decided to keep the Olympic flame in Japan and the Games, when they eventually take place, would keep the name "Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."
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