The games have been postponed due to coronavirus concerns.
The 2020 Olympic Games, planned to be held in Tokyo, Japan, was originally planned to begin this summer on July 24. Unfortunately, as has proven to be the case with many other large events, fear of the coronavirus has rendered a gathering of people on the scale of the Olympic games simply unfeasible. It is for this reason that the International Olympic Committee has decided to postpone this year’s Olympics.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Veteran IOC member Dick Pound 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.”
Olympic organizations in several countries, including the United States and Canada, had previously announced their intent to withhold their athletes from travelling due to the pandemic. Elsewhere, the pandemic has severely hampered Olympic qualification procedures, which has made actually assembling an Olympic team difficult for some countries.
This will be the first instance in history of the Olympic games being postponed, though the event has been outright cancelled in the past during World War I and World War II. While many athletes are disappointed by the event’s postponement, they are understanding of the extenuating circumstances.
“I’ve had so many calls with athletes who have been in tears trying to train for their ultimate dream but not wanting to jeopardize their health,” American hurdler Lolo Jones tweeted. “This was the right thing to do. May the world heal.”
The games are now being planned to be held some time in the summer of 2021. Japan will still play host, barring any extenuating circumstances.