Olympics likely to be postponed till 2021

The Games will not be cancelled, the International Olympic Committee said.

Julia Yeo | March 23, 2020, 02:32 PM

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said that it is considering postponing the 2020 Olympics by a year, until the summer of 2021.

Possible postponement to summer 2021, but no cancellation

The evolving Covid-19 situation worldwide has created immense pressure for the IOC to make changes to the date of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which is currently scheduled to start on July 24, 2020.

After an executive board meeting on Mar. 22, the IOC said that it would enhance its planning around "potential changes" to the Games, which includes postponing the event, according to Bloomberg.

However, it said that a cancellation of the Olympic Games will not be considered.

"The IOC is confident that it will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks," the committee said in a statement.

At the moment, Canada has announced that it will not be sending an Olympic team to the Games if it is held this year, amid Covid-19 concerns.

Australia has also told its athletes to prepare for 2021 instead.

'Gentleman's agreement' had been reached not to cancel the Games

The Financial Times reported on Mar. 22 that a 'gentleman’s agreement' had been reached not to cancel the 2020 Olympic Games.

It said the likely new date would be during summer in 2021, though other options also were under discussion.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has also hinted at the possibility of the Games being postponed, despite insisting previously that the Olympic Games would go on as per normal.

He acknowledged for the first time that it may be impossible to hold them as scheduled, according to The Japan Times.

“If it is difficult to hold the games in such a way, we have to decide to postpone them, giving top priority to (the health of the) athletes,” he said during a parliamentary session.

Top image via Tokyo 2020 Facebook page