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World IOC member: Tokyo Olympics will be postponed due to coronavirus

22:35  23 march  2020
22:35  23 march  2020 Source:   nydailynews.com

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IOC member Dick Pound finally said what should have been obvious for a week: The 2020 Olympics are not happening as scheduled in Japan. “On the basis of the information the IOC has, the postponement has been decided,” the longtime Olympic official told USA Today.

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

Pound, who is Canadian, later went on Toronto sports radio and said that a one-year postponement was likely.

The Olympics were scheduled for July 24-August 9 in Tokyo. The coronavirus pandemic had led to the cancellation or postponement of nearly every other major sporting event in the world.

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On Sunday, IOC president Thomas Bach said that decisions would be made about the Olympics over the next four weeks.

Athletes and federations were putting increasing amounts of pressure on Bach to postpone the Games to 2021. Canada and Australia said they would not send athletes to the Olympics in 2020. The Olympic federations of Germany, Brazil and Norway asked the IOC to postpone the Games.

“Well, as we announced yesterday, we are looking at scenarios," the IOC told Christine Brennan after she broke the story of the apparent postponement.

In a survey of 4,000 track and field athletes across the world that was released Monday, 78% said the Games should be postponed.

American swimmers and track and field athletes had asked the United States Olympic & Paralympic committee to request a postponement. On Sunday, CEO Sarah Hirshland said she wouldn’t do that.

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Pound is a longtime anti-doping official and International Olympic Committee member; he was first elected to the IOC in 1978.

“It will come in stages,” Pound told USA Today. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

Pound is right about that. Japan has spent at least $12 billion on the Olympics. If there are sports in 2021 — assuming that’s when these Olympics will be held — nearly every one will need to adjust its calendar to account for the Olympics. Nearly three-quarters of all Summer Olympians only compete in one Olympics. The Olympic Village in Tokyo has 4,000 housing units that were supposed to be transferred to private owners next year.

But it was the obviously right move. Athletes who had already qualified or been selected for Tokyo were calling for postponement. Holding a massive sporting event would not only risk spreading the virus all over the world; athletes would largely be unable to prepare for an Olympics that was just months away.

Japan acknowledges 2020 Olympics may be postponed

  Japan acknowledges 2020 Olympics may be postponed Canada and Australia have already pulled out of the Summer Games.Addressing parliament today, prime minister Shinzo Abe said that if the games cannot be held in “a complete form”—with spectators in the stands, for example—”we have to decide to postpone them, giving top priority to [the health of the] athletes.” He added that cancellation is not an option.

Three summer Olympics have been cancelled: 1918 because of World War I, and 1940 and 1944 because of World War II. These would be the first to be postponed.

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The Tokyo Olympics are officially postponed .
© Provided by Vanity Fair The global health crisis had made the decision inevitable. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed on Tuesday March 24 that the Tokyo Olympic Games are officially postponed until next year. An announcement following the request of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe , who, facing the coronavirus pandemic, was forced to request the postponement of the event which was originally scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9 2020 in the Japanese capital.

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