The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will officially be put on hold due to coronavirus. According to USA Today’s Christine Brennan, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound said the games, scheduled for June, would not go on as scheduled.
As the COVID-19 epidemic spreads worldwide and shuts entire nations down, it crippled international sports. But those in charge of the Tokyo Olympics hesitated to cancel one of sports’ biggest spectacles because of the massive logistics problems a postponement would entail. But as the virus spread through the United States and it became clear containment would be impossible with an Olympiad bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the island nation from around the world, the decision was made to push the event back.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound said in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound, a Canadian who has been one of the most influential members of the IOC for decades, said he believes the IOC will announce its next steps soon.
“It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
In recent days, Japanese officials finally admitted that the games would not be possible to complete in full given its initial scheduling. Earlier Monday prime minister Shinzo Abe reluctantly said IOC planning alternative options meant the games would likely be moved. Meanwhile, the United States swimming governing body had already asked for the games to be cancelled, while on Sunday Canada’s athletic governing body said it wouldn’t be sending athletes to a summer Olympiad this year. Now, there’s no Olympiad for any country to participate in until COVID-19 is under control, hopefully by summer 2021.