VIRUS AND OLYMPICS
TOKYO (JPN): Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has hinted for the first time that the Olympic Games might not be able to take place at its scheduled time due to the coronavirus pandemic, informs insidethegames.biz. “If I’m asked whether we can hold the Olympics at this point in time, I would have to say that the world is not in such a condition,” Abe told a parliamentary session, as reported by Kyodo News. He added: “If it is difficult to hold the Games in such a way, we have to decide to postpone it, giving top priority to (the health of the) athletes,” he told the parliamentary session. Although the IOC will make the final decision, we are of the same view that cancellation is not an option.”
TOKYO (JPN): International Olympic Committee (IOC) member Dick Pound has said the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will almost certainly be postponed, informs USA Today. “On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” he said.
TOKYO (JPN): The head of the Japan Olympic Committee (JOC) Yasuhiro Yamashita has also said the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games might have to be postponed due to “safety and security” reasons, informs The Guardian. “From the athletes’ point of view of safety and security, we have to come to a stage where we cannot help but consider things including postponement,” he said.
TOKYO (JPN): At least 10 National Olympic Committees have called for the 2020 Olympic Games to be postponed, informs sports.ru. Norway, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, United States, France, Canada, Spain, Brazil and Australia have all publicly said the Olympic Games cannot take place at its scheduled time due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
MONACO (MON): Â´World Athletics said Monday it was prepared to shift the world championships in 2021 in order to accommodate a potential move of this year’s coronavirus-threatened Tokyo Olympic Games. The world championships are scheduled to be held in Oregon on August 6-15 next year, but talks are under way now that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may be moved to 2021. “We stand ready to work with the IOC and all sport on an alternative date including dates in 2021,” said a World Athletics statement. From agencies.
INDIANAPOLIS (USA): A survey carried out by the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) has revealed athletes have expressed widespread support for postponing this summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, informs insidethegames.biz. Nearly 75 percent of the 300 athletes who responded have support the Games being postponed.
OTTAWA (CAN): Canada and Australia have both announced they would not be prepared to send teams to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in July due to the coronavirus pandemic, informs CNN. “While we recognise the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community. This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health,” the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee said in a joint statement Sunday. The Australian Olympic Committee executive board unanimously agreed they would not send a team for Tokyo for the same reasons. “The athletes desperately want to go to the games…but they also take onboard their own personal health. We need to give our athletes that certainty and that’s what we’ve done,” said Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll.
JACKSONVILLE (USA): The Athletics Association has surveyed over 4000 athletes who have overwhelmingly called for the Olympic Games to be postponed. A total of 78 percent of athletes have called for the Olympics to be postponed and 87 percent of respondees have said their training has been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The statement published on social media “implores the IOC to announce the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games much sooner than in four weeks’ time” and goes on to say “athletes are risking their health as well as the health of their coaches and families and indeed wider society to continue to prepare for an Olympic Games that is likely to be postponed.” The Athletics Association is headed by triple jump Olympic winner and World champion Christian Taylor.
JENA (GER): Olympic champion Thomas Rohler has said the Olympic Games should be postponed until 2021, informs Leichtathletik.de. “We athletes – internationally I can speak for athletics – are of the opinion that 2021 currently offers maximum security,” he said.