International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed, “not later than summer 2021.”
Yesterday we reported that the IOC had begun “detailed discussions” with Japanese officials and Olympic organizers, regarding whether the games would continue, or be postponed. Cancellation of the 32nd Olympic Games was “not on the agenda.”
Soon after however, IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that the committee had already decided to postpone the Games, with the conversation turning to what would happen next.
Now, the IOC has issued an official statement, confirming the Games will be postponed.
This came after a conference call between IOC President Thomas Bach, Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo, President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee Mori Yoshiro, Olympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko, the Governor of Tokyo Koike Yuriko, the Chair of the IOC Coordination Commission John Coates, IOC Director General Christophe De Kepper, and the IOC Olympic Games Executive Director Christophe Dubi.
Due to the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, it was decided that the games would be postponed, but “not later than summer 2021.”
“The unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating. Yesterday, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said that the COVID-19 pandemic is ‘accelerating’. There are more than 375,000 cases now recorded worldwide and in nearly every country, and their number is growing by the hour.
In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
This includes the postponement and cancellation of GDC and E3 2020 respectively. At this time, Gamescom 2020 is still being prepared, with organizers monitoring local regulations and the virus’ spread.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been almost 395,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and over 17,000 deaths. Over 103,000 people have made a “total recovery.” Japan has the 25th most confirmed cases at 1,140. There have been 42 deaths, and 285 recoveries.
On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak “can be categorized as a pandemic.”