The IOC have confirmed this afternoon that the 2020 Olympics schedule for Tokyo this summer will be postponed 12 months due to the coronavirus. The fate of the Olympics had been the source of great speculation since Covid-19 reached Japan earlier this year. Organisers seemed to hope that perhaps a postponement could be avoided, but bowed to the inevitable this afternoon.
JUST IN: Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says the International Olympic Committee has agreed to delay the summer games by 1 year pic.twitter.com/ohTBSlrHA4
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) March 24, 2020
The news seemed all but assured last night when IOC president Dick Pound said he thought the games would have to be postponed due to the pandemic.
"You're looking at a postponement," Pound said yesterday. "I think that's out there now. We're all reading the tea leaves and so on, but the Japanese themselves are talking about postponing. A lot of National Olympic Committees and countries are calling for a postponement."
Canada also said the Olympics should be postponed on Sunday.
"I'd like to think it means is that we don't prioritize gold medals at all costs, that at a time when our prime minister, our minister of health and our public health officer are telling us that it's time to stay indoors, flatten the curve, socially distance, that our athletes are saying ,'We're Canadians, too, and we're going to do our part,"' Canadian Olympic Committee CEO David Shoemaker said on a conference call.
The news will come as a kind of relief to athletes, who were stuck in a training limbo as the IOC hoped to buy time before making a decision.
It's the first time the Olympics have ever been postponed. They've been cancelled three times because of war.
This news confirms that a potentially incredible summer of sport will be essentially left threadbare, as the Olympics will join the Euros in 2021. The GAA championship remains one of the last dominoes standing. We hope we can flatten the curve quickly and get sport back.