Countries had begun announcing they wouldn’t participate in Tokyo’s 2020 games.
The New York Times: I.O.C. And Japan Agree To Postpone Tokyo Olympics
After months of internal discussions and mounting pressure from nations and athletes across the world, the International Olympic Committee will postpone the Summer Games that had been scheduled to begin in late July in Tokyo, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said Tuesday. Instead the Games, the world’s largest sporting event, will take place in the summer of 2021, a change that will wreak havoc with sports schedules but should bring great relief to the athletes, organizers and health officials who had increasingly pressed that the coronavirus pandemic made it unsafe to go forward with the event. (Ric, Futterman and Panja, 3/24)
The Washington Post: Shinzo Abe Says Thomas Bach Has Agreed To Postpone Tokyo Olympics
Abe held a conference call Tuesday to propose a one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to the IOC, and said afterward that IOC President Thomas Bach “agreed 100 percent.” Abe said he and Bach had agreed “to cooperate in order to hold the Olympics in the complete form, as a testament to victory over the infection.” Abe called Bach on Tuesday night in Japan to offer his plan. The proposal came a day after the United States joined a global chorus of Olympic governing bodies advocating for a postponement, some of which had vowed not to send athletes if the Games began in July as scheduled. (Kilgore and Denyer, 3/24)
The Wall Street Journal: Japan, IOC Agree To Delay 2020 Olympics By About One Year
The Japanese leader said it was difficult to hold the Olympics this year due to the coronavirus pandemic and a delay was needed to ensure the safety of athletes and spectators. He said he proposed a delay of “about one year” and received “100% agreement” from Mr. Bach. “We have agreed that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held by the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Mr. Abe said in Tokyo. He said study would now begin on arranging venues for the Games. (Landers, 3/24)
Politico: Tokyo 2020 Olympics To Be Postponed
Calls for a postponement had become overwhelming in advance of the IOC officially pulling the plug on the Games, which were due to start in July. Canada had already pulled out its athletes and several other major sports federations, including the British Olympic Association and U.S.A Track and Field, had demanded a delay until 2021. (Walker, 3/24)
The New York Times: A Grand Vision Of The Olympics Plays Catchup With The Rest Of The World
For weeks, as the coronavirus spread across the world, Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, has held onto the dream that opening an Olympic Games on July 24 in Tokyo could serve as a celebration of triumph over a pandemic that has killed thousands of people, closed down countries and devastated the world economy. By Monday, it appeared that a decision on whether to postpone the Games had finally become a matter of when and how rather than if. Regardless of when the I.O.C. decides to detail plans for a delay, its slow public responses to the coronavirus have been only the latest example of an organization seemingly out of step with much of the world. (Futterman, 3/24)
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