Hosts Japan and the International Olympic Committee decided on Monday to postpone the Summer Games of 2020 by one year in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Tokyo Olympics are now postponed to 2021 summers.
The Olympic flame will stay in Japan and the games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the IOC said. The Games are rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympic Games.
IOC President Thomas Bach had insisted that there shall be no delay in the biggest sporting event in the world. But Japan’s Prime Minister’s official Twitter handle posted, “After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021.”
A statement released by IOC said, “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,” it added.
Olympics was the last imminent major sporting event left standing as most of the sporting world went into lockdown.