Will The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Be Postponed? Here's What We Know


Cheng Sim •  Mar 24, 2020

Update (24 March 2020): Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach have agreed to postpone the Olympics to 2021. Click here to read the latest update

The possible postponement of Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games has been circling our newsfeed today, following a statement by Veteran International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound on USA Today.

Credit: Giphy

In a phone interview with USA Today, Dick Pound said, “On the basis of the information the IOC has, the 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 also revealed to the US publication that ‘the games are likely to be moved to 2021, with the details to be worked in the next four weeks. He expects the IOC to announce its next steps soon.’

Credit: Andrew Mager on Flickr

In response to the IOC Executive Board Announcement, Tokyo 2020 released a statement today revealing the future of the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games and their next course of action.

Based on the statement posted on Tokyo 2020’s official website, Tokyo 2020 held an urgent video conference with IOC President Bach on 22 March 2020, during which they discussed details of different scenarios, including the postponement of the Games, in full coordination with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, relevant Japanese authorities, international sports federations and National Olympic Committees.

Echoing the previous statement made by the IOC, 'the final decision has not been reached at this time due to the extreme complexity of the Games. The discussions will be finalised within the next four weeks'. The news also mentioned that the cancellation of the Tokyo 2020 Games will not be part of the agenda.

The official postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games were widely speculated following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. As more countries are issuing lockdowns, travel bans, and stay-at-home orders, the situation has made it increasingly difficult for athletes to prepare for the biggest sporting event of the year. On 23 March 2020, Canada and Australia were the first countries to withdraw from Tokyo 2020, prioritising their athlete’s health and safety as well as the world community.

As the world waits for Tokyo 2020’s final decision in the next four weeks, we hope things will get better in the months to come. True to its motto, “United by Emotions”, we look forward to the day when the power of sports will bring together people from diverse background once more.