Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe first considered postponing the Summer Olympics because of the corona crisis. He told the Tokyo parliament that this could become an option if the games could not be held in their “complete form.” Canceling the games was not an option.
“It is difficult to hold games under these circumstances, we have to decide on a postponement, with athletes’ health a top priority,” said Abe. The final decision, however, rests with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
The IOC set a four-week deadline on Sunday to decide whether to relocate the Tokyo Olympics. The committee again ruled out a cancellation. This would “not solve any of the problems or help anyone,” the IOC said, referring to “significant improvements in Japan.”
Japan has managed to get the virus under control, but the pandemic is spreading more and more worldwide. For weeks it has been criticized that a sporting event with around 11,000 athletes and thousands of spectators, supervisors and journalists would hardly be responsible. The Tokyo Games are scheduled to take place from July 24th to August 9th, 2020.
Canada has now become the first country to draw conclusions: the Olympic Committee (COC) and the Paralympic Committee of the Country (CPC) have announced that Team Canada will not take part in the Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020. No athletes will be sent to Tokyo for the games unless the competitions are postponed for a year, it said in the message.
The “difficult decision” was made with the approval of sports associations and the Canadian government. Nothing is more important than the health and protection of athletes and the global community. At the Olympic Games in Rio 2016, 314 Canadian athletes were there, who won a total of 22 medals.
Australia is preparing to postpone the games
The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) called on the country’s athletes to prepare for the Summer Olympics in 2021. “It is clear that the games cannot take place in July,” said one AOC statement. Under the circumstances at home and abroad, an Australian team for Olympia 2020 in Tokyo could not be put together.