The Tokyo Olympics initially scheduled for 2020 have been postponed "no later than summer 2021" due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Tuesday. Since the first edition in 1896, this is the first postponement of the Olympic Games outside a period of war.
The question was no longer whether the Olympic Games were going to be postponed but rather when we found out that they would be. A priori, we will not have to wait four weeks, as announced by the International Olympic Committee. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has taken the lead. This Tuesday and in front of the cameras of Japanese television, he explained to have proposed to the IOC and to its president Thomas Bach a postponement of one year of the great quadrennial celebration. Bach validated. "I proposed to postpone them for about a year and the President of the International Olympic Committee (Thomas) Bach accepted 100%", did he declare.
While the planet is globally confined and world sport has been put on hiatus due to the coronavirus crisis, the Tokyo Olympics, whose opening ceremony was to be held on July 24, will follow suit. . The decision has not yet been officially relayed by the IOC but it became inevitable in view of the evolution of the pandemic and the positions taken by everyone. From the powerful US athletics and swimming federations in Canada, which had already announced that it would not send any delegation to Japan, it had to be untenable to respect a calendar also denounced by the athletes.
The decision was officially relayed by the IOC in a press release issued in the wake. In view of the evolution of the pandemic and of the positions taken by everyone, it became inevitable. “The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the epidemic has caused the situation to deteriorate around the world. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the COVID-19 pandemic "is accelerating". There are now more than 375 cases recorded worldwide and in almost all countries, and the number is increasing hour by hour ”. Based on this observation, Japan and the IOC took the necessary decision: to postpone the Summer Games.
Push back and not cancel, as Shinzo Abe and the IOC jointly announced. Repel "No later than summer 2021", even specified the National Olympic Committee. Which means that the fall 2020 option was too risky and complicated. And that 2022, the year of the Beijing Winter Games, as well as the FIFA World Cup, was too distant a horizon.
The joint decision to postpone the Summer Olympics is historic since, since 1896, no edition has been postponed or canceled for a reason other than an armed conflict. Only the First and Second World Wars had forced Olympism to revise its plans. This had been the case for Berlin 1916, London 1944 and… Tokyo 1940.
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