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2020 Tokyo Olympics put on hold for a year

Jack Burton

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PHOTO: Not cancelled... postponed - New York Post

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics are to be delayed by one year due to concerns over the world Covid 19 coronavirus pandemic. Japanese PM Shinzo Abe made the announcement yesterday, telling reporters he has won the backing for the proposal to delay the games, originally scheduled to start in July, in a call with IOC president Thomas Bach.

“The Tokyo Olympics will not be cancelled.”

The postponement is the first since the modern games began in the 19th century, and makes the Tokyo 2020 Olympics the biggest sporting event called off due to the pandemic to date. The virus has caused more than 18000 deaths worldwide, led to a plunge in global markets and slammed the brakes on international travel.

The last time an Olympics was cancelled was in 1944 due to World War II. The games have never been delayed by as long as a year under the auspices of the IOC, which was established in 1894. The 1940 games were initially postponed, but then cancelled.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and special Olympics were headed toward postponement this week as national teams said they’d pull out if the games went on as scheduled. Japanese PM Abe acknowledged a delay would be unavoidable. He told the Japanese parliament Monday that the Olympics would have to be postponed if safety couldn’t be guaranteed for spectators and athletes due to the pandemic.

The coronavirus has made it all but impossible for aspiring Olympians to train and, in many cases, qualify for a July event. After Australian PM Scott Morrison said the international travel ban currently in place would extend to the country’s Olympic delegation, the national team told its athletes to begin training for 2021. But a 2021 games has its own list of headaches, including many sponsorship agreements set to expire in 2020 and a conflict with the global track-and-field championships.

SOURCE: Chiang Rai Times

 

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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