Update: March 24, 2020 at 9:58 a.m. ET
International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo announced Tuesday the 2020 Olympics would be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.
According to the official website of the Olympics, the decision was made as a way to combat the coronavirus outbreak and protect the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
The IOC and Japanese officials agreed to leave the Olympic flame in Japan as “a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times.” When the games do eventually kick off, they will still be known as Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
Veteran IOC member Dick Pound said that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be postponed.
According to a report on USA Today, Pound told USA Today Sports that the details are still being negotiated.
“On the basis of the information, the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told the news outlet 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 noted that the details would come in stages.
“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.”
The IOC has not confirmed the postponement, noting that they are looking at scenarios.
On March 22, 2020, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, acknowledged that the Games may be postponed.
“The IOC’s decision is along the lines of what I said before, of holding the event in its complete form. If that becomes difficult–and thinking first about the health of the athletes–we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games,” Abe said.
Countries have been pressuring the IOC to postpone the Games with Canada and Australia dropping out of the Games.
Pound told USA Today that he believes the Games will be held in 2021 instead.
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