Tokyo 2020: Olympics to be postponed until 2021, says IOC member

The 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed by a year because of coronavirus, says International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

The 2020 Olympic Games will be postponed by one year because of coronavirus, says International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound.

It comes after the chairman of the British Olympic Association said Great Britain would be unlikely to send a team to Tokyo this summer.

Australia and Canada have already said they will not compete in Japan. 

"On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided," Pound told USA today.

"The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on 24 July, that much I know."

The International Olympic Committee has given itself four weeks to decide on the future of this summer's Games, but veteran IOC member Pound says a decision will be announced 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."

'We will be joining Canada and Australia'

Canada and Australia had already announced their decision to withdraw from this summer's Games when the chairman of the British Olympic Association, Hugh Robertson, said he expected Britain to be "joining shortly".

"We can't see any way that this can go ahead as things are constituted," said Robertson. "I expect we will be joining Canada and Australia shortly."

As of Sunday, there had been 5,683 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom, with 281 deaths.

The UK government has urged the public to follow advice on social distancing, with MPs debating stricter measures to ensure people comply.

"I think it is very simple. If the virus continues as predicted by the government, I don't think there is any way we can send a team," Robertson told Sky Sports News.

"First, I don't see any way that the athletes and Team GB could be ready by then. Elite training facilities are perfectly understandably and quite correctly closed around the country, so there is no way they could undertake the preparation they need to get ready for a Games.

"Secondly, there is the appropriateness of holding an Olympic Games at a time like this. We are actually in a process where we are talking to all our sports. We will complete that over the next couple of days.

"We have already said to the IOC (International Olympic Committee) that we think their four-week pause is absolutely the right thing to do."

On Sunday, Canada became the first major country to withdraw from this summer's Olympics and Paralympics.

 

The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committee said it had taken "the difficult decision" to pull out after consulting athletes, sports groups, and the government.

It then "urgently called" on the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee and the World Health Organization to postpone the Games for a year.

"It's clear the Games can't be held in July," Australia chef de mission Ian Chesterman said on Monday.

"Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them."

The IOC has said postponement is in its "scenario planning". The cancellation of the Tokyo 2020, due to run from 24 July to 9 August, is "not on the agenda", but a "scaled-down" Games is also being considered.

Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe told his country's parliament on Monday that a postponement would be unavoidable if the event cannot be held in a complete way.

World Athletics president Lord Coe has called for this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo to be postponed.

In a letter to IOC president Thomas Bach, Coe says an Olympics in July 2020 is "neither feasible or desirable" because of the coronavirus crisis.

In his letter to Bach, which followed a conference call between himself and area presidents of the Olympic federations, Briton Coe said: "No-one wants to see the Olympic Games postponed but, as I have said publicly, we cannot hold the event at all costs, certainly not at the cost of athlete safety.

"A decision on the Olympic Games must become very obvious very quickly. I believe that time has come and we owe it to our athletes to give them respite where we can."

In his letter, the double Olympic 1500m champion listed three main reasons for delaying the 2020 Games:

  • Competition fairness - "Every one of my area presidents believes that we can no longer expect a fair and level playing field in our sport given the number of athletes who are struggling to train in various countries due to measures put in place to reduce the spread of coronavirus."
  • Risk of injury - "If athletes are unable to train properly now we both know, as we have both been there, they will push themselves even harder closer to an Olympic Games, which will increase the propensity for injury."
  • Emotional wellbeing of athletes - "The uncertainty of the Olympic Games happening in July and the inherent desire and motivation to excel that resides in all our athletes is causing real anguish that we can, collectively, put a stop to."

The subject of athlete welfare was also highlighted by Japanese Olympic Committee president Yasuhiro Yamashita, who told reporters on Monday that too long of a delay to Tokyo 2020 would be a burden to athletes preparing for the games.

In his own letter, addressed to athletes and published on Sunday, Bach said the IOC is "in a dilemma" and "a final decision about the date of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 now would still be premature".

The German added that to postpone the Games "is an extremely complex challenge" and that a cancellation would "destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes".

In terms of a postponement, Bach warned: "A number of critical venues needed for the Games could potentially not be available any more.

"The situations with millions of nights already booked in hotels is extremely difficult to handle, and the international sports calendar for at least 33 Olympic sports would have to be adapted. These are just a few of many, many more challenges."

UK Athletics, its US counterpart, and several national Olympic governing bodies have urged the IOC in recent days to delay the Games. BBC

 
 

Other News

.
Art awakens internal energy in the time of the coronavirus
Art awakens internal energy in the time of the coronavirus
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2020 

Hoi An-based artist Nguyen Quoc Dan, a pursuer of non-cubism digital painting, has recently realised an art project of many elements. Called Internal Energy, the works are mainly arranged along Hoi An Beach,

Painting exhibition shows respect to Uncle Ho
Painting exhibition shows respect to Uncle Ho
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

A solo exhibition of painter Thai Hoa showing his respect for President Ho Chi Minh kicked off on Saturday in Hanoi.

Gymnasts set sights on securing additional Olympic place
Gymnasts set sights on securing additional Olympic place
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2020 

A number of Vietnamese gymnasts have set goals of winning another place at the Tokyo Olympic Games following Le Thanh Tung’s achievement in securing a berth at the prestigious event.

VBA season set for late July tip-off
VBA season set for late July tip-off
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2020 

While teams and fans alike are excited for the start of the new Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) season, the start date has been pushed back to late July, while the league's first-ever All-Star event has been scrapped.

AFC delivers special praise for Quang Hai, Tien Linh
AFC delivers special praise for Quang Hai, Tien Linh
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

Whilst conducting an analysis of the most recent Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U23 Championship which took place earlier in the year in Thailand, the AFC delivered high praise for Vietnamese footballers Quang Hai and Tien Linh.

Vietnam Football Federation to have new technical director
Vietnam Football Federation to have new technical director
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

Japanese expert Yusuke Adachi will replace Jurgen Gede as the new technical director at the Vietnam Football Federation.

Exhibition on President Ho Chi Minh opens online
Exhibition on President Ho Chi Minh opens online
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

An exhibition on books and documents featuring an overview of President Ho Chi Minh’s life and career opened today (May 19) at the website trienlamsachhcm.book365.vn.

Book on President Ho Chi Minh’s stay in Thailand to be released in English
Book on President Ho Chi Minh’s stay in Thailand to be released in English
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

The book “President Ho Chi Minh, the Founder of Modern Vietnam – Thailand Relations,” which tells stories about his stay in Thailand, is set to be published in English in celebration of his 130th birthday (May 19, 1890 – 2020).

Cover of children's song sparks controversy
Cover of children's song sparks controversy
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  20/05/2020 

It seemed totally incongruous to put a much-loved Vietnamese children's song, Chú Voi Con ở Bản Đôn (The Little Elephant in Don Hamlet) in a contemporary mash-up with the K-pop hit Nobody by Wonder Girls.

The most beautiful house in the world
The most beautiful house in the world
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

I visited President Ho Chi Minh's house on stilts for the first time in December 2006.

Hanoi farmer with a deep love for Uncle Ho
Hanoi farmer with a deep love for Uncle Ho
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

The small house in the small village looks like any other on the outskirts of Hanoi, but what's inside is astounding.

President Ho Chi Minh lives on through the lives he touched
President Ho Chi Minh lives on through the lives he touched
FEATUREicon  19/05/2020 

It's been more than 50 years since President Ho Chi Minh passed away and school children still learn his poems, his biography and about his minimalist lifestyle. 

An untold story behind the bust of Uncle Ho
An untold story behind the bust of Uncle Ho
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

A bust of President Ho Chi Minh that was preserved by Vietnamese prisoners on Con Dao Island during the resistance war against the French is on public display for that first time at an exhibition being held at Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Special stamp released to commemorate President Ho
Special stamp released to commemorate President Ho
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a decision to publish a special stamp collection to celebrate the 130th anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh's birthday and the 50th anniversary of Ho Chi Minh Museum.

Vietnam’s leading classical composer Maestro Nguyen Van Nam dies at 89
Vietnam’s leading classical composer Maestro Nguyen Van Nam dies at 89
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

It is said he was working on his 10th symphony, but it's now whether the work has been finished. Nguyen Van Nam, Vietnam’s top classical composer, who has left behind nine symphonic works, all dedicated to his country, died on May 17.

Choosing the perfect place for Uncle Ho’s statue
Choosing the perfect place for Uncle Ho’s statue
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  19/05/2020 

A statue of President Ho Chi Minh waving his hand with a warm smile on his face on the Ninh Kieu wharf in Can Tho, has for a long time been a symbol of the city, which is dubbed the capital of the western region by the Hau River.

Will online movie platforms overtake traditional theatres?
Will online movie platforms overtake traditional theatres?
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  18/05/2020 

A new cinematic experience has been occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hanoi walking street bustling again after weekend reopening
Hanoi walking street bustling again after weekend reopening
PHOTOSicon  18/05/2020 

Many Hanoians and their children enjoy flying kites after months of staying at home to avoid Covid-19 propagation.

Three national treasures on display at Quang Ninh Museum
Three national treasures on display at Quang Ninh Museum
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/05/2020 

Three national treasures are being showcased at the Quang Ninh Museum in the northeastern province of the same name.

FIFA President lavishes praise on Vietnamese football
FIFA President lavishes praise on Vietnamese football
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTSicon  17/05/2020 

President of the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) Gianni Infantino has sent a letter thanking President of the Vietnam Football Federation Le Khanh Hai and Vietnamese football in general

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN