The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced postponement of the 2020 Games, scheduled for July-August, to the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic which has brought the world to a standstill.
The organization wouldn't confirm or deny Monday whether the Games were going to be postponed after veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today the event was on hold.
Update: Tuesday afternoon, Discovery released the following statement about the postponement: "Discovery fully supports the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee's plan to stage the Olympic Games in 2021 and to make every effort to ensure the well-being of spectators, athletes, staff and the worldwide community".
British Olympic Association chairman Hugh Robertson said he was "heartbroken" for the Tokyo organisers after the 2020 Games were postponed but stated there was no other option due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to the potential risks to public safety that massive Olympics crowds would entail at a time when a pandemic is raging, athletes in many countries have seen their training disrupted or interrupted.
Olympic Federation of Ireland CEO Peter Sherrard acknowledged the complexities involved in postponing the Games, but said: "This is the right call given the times that we are in".
Responding to the news, the BOA's chief executive, Andy Anson, said: "It is with profound sadness that we accept the postponement, but in all consciousness it is the only decision we can support, in light of the devastating impact Covid-19 is having on our nation, our communities and our families". According to BBC, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committee said it had taken "the hard decision" to withdraw after consulting athletes, sports groups, and the government.
Nigeria Has Chloroquine Poisonings After Trump Praised Drug
The left is using scientific uncertainty as a cudgel to attack Trump, striking the president no matter the decision he makes. That includes use of painkillers too, because some studies seem to suggest use of Ibuprofen in COVID-19 can be risky .
On Sunday, Bach said a decision on postponing the games would be made in the next four weeks.
It means that for the first time since the Second World War, the Olympic Games will not go ahead as scheduled.
No, the event will still be referred to as Tokyo 2020, despite most certainly taking place in 2021.
Both parties also agreed to keep the Olympic flame in Japan, and the Games will keep the name "Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020".
As recently as Sunday, the International Olympic Committee was saying it would take up to four weeks to reach a decision. The 1940 games were initially postponed, but then canceled.
An Olympics postponement would be a blow for host country Japan, which has pumped in more than $12 billion of investment, and huge sums are also at stake for sponsors and broadcasters.