2020 Olympics Postponed
By Samuel Victor Akpan
The Olympic Games which was scheduled to take place from July 22 in Japan has been postponed until next year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) who confirmed this on Tuesday, its President Thomas Bach had consented to a proposal by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to postpone the games by a year.
The Paralympic Games which was also scheduled for this year has also been postponed until 2021.
The IOC had announced earlier that it was taking a four week period to make a decision on a possible postponement after pressure from member associations, including Canada and the USA.
However, a joint statement from the IOC and the LOC says the “unpredictable and unprecedented” spread of the outbreak had forced the games to be “rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”
Furthermore, the “health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community” was a major factor in its decision, based on the information provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.
“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,” read the statement.
Despite the postponement, the Games will still be referred to as Tokyo 2020.
There are now over 375,000 cases of the pandemic worldwide, with 42 confirmed cases in Nigeria.