Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The head of the IOC, Thomas Bach, and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe had a conversation today and decided that the postponement was definite.
The Olympic games are to be postponed for a year
According to the Telegraph, the Olympics will be postponed, following crisis talks by Thomas Bach and Shinzo Abe. Abe stated that Bach "agreed 100 percent". This will be the first time in the 124-year history of the Olympics that it has been postponed. It was completely cancelled during the World War I and World War II, but never postponed.
The decision will cause a hindrance for many organisations in terms of funding and coordination of other sporting events, but the priority is the health of the athletes and coaches involved.
Netherlands was among the countries in favour of the postponement
On Sunday, March 22, Canada became the first major country to withdraw from the Olympics. Australia swiftly followed suit, stating, "Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them."
Britain, Norway and the Netherlands were also prepared to pull out if a postponement was not going to happen. The Netherlands Olympic Committee (NOC*NSF) stated that it is dedicated to the health and safety of its athletes and will only send them to the Olympics once the corona crisis has been averted. Although many organisations showed resistance to the postponement, many will be relieved that the event will take place a year later than first planned.
The NOC*NSF has a dedicated web page about coronavirus and sport, with explanations on best practices including social distancing. Check out the NOC*NSF website (in Dutch) for more information.