The 2020 summer Olympic Games have been postponed until 2021, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.
Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach said they had no choice after reviewing information from the World Health Organization (WHO). Abe and the IOC said in a joint statement:
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
“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.”
International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today Monday that “the parameters going forward have not been determined,” but the Games would not begin on July 24. In fact, they won’t even begin this year.
International pressure had been mounting on the IOC to move the Summer Olympics out of Tokyo to another location.