The Tokyo Olympics have officially been postponed until 2021 due to escalating concerns of COVID-19.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed its decision Tuesday morning after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers.
The Games were set to begin on July 24 but will now take place “no later than summer 2021,” said the IOC 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,” said the IOC. “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.”
It is the first time in the history of the Olympics that the games have been postponed. They were cancelled once before during wartime.
The decision comes one day after the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee said they would not be sending any teams to compete unless the events were pushed back by a year.
Former Olympian Perdita Felicien joined Morning Live’s Tim Bolen Tuesday to discuss what this announcement could mean for athletes.