International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally bowed to pressure to postpone the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games as announced on Sunday. The statement rule out completely any cancellations; but promised to reach a decision on that regard at some point in the next four weeks.
“The IOC will, in full coordination and partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement,” the IOC said as part of a lengthy statement. “The IOC is confident that it will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks, and greatly appreciates the solidarity and partnership of the [national Olympic committees] and [international federations] in supporting the athletes and adapting Games planning.”
Sunday’s statement is the first one on the record from the IOC affirming that the Olympics could be postponed — despite weeks of strong assurances that the Games would go forward as planned in July.
“The IOC [executive board] emphasised that a cancellation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would not solve any of the problems or help anybody,” the IOC said. “Therefore, cancellation is not on agenda”.
“Human lives take precedence over everything, including the staging of the Games,” Bach wrote. “The IOC wants to be part of the solution. Therefore we have made it our leading principle to safeguard the health of everyone involved, and to contribute to containing the virus”.
“I wish, and we all are working for this, that the hope so many athletes, NOCs and IFs from all five continents have expressed will be fulfilled: that at the end of this dark tunnel we are all going through together, not knowing how long it is, the Olympic flame will be a light at the end of this tunnel”, he concluded.