After postponing the Tokyo Olympics 2020 to next year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach admitted that delaying it was not the perfect solution but when the Games next happens it can be “a celebration of humanity”.
Despite his initial reluctance to postpone this year’s Summer Games, Bach announced the decision to reschedule the Olympics to 2021 after holding a teleconference call with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the other stakeholders on Tuesday.
“In order to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympics and to make a contribution to the containment of the coronavirus, we agreed to postpone the Olympics to latest the summer of 2021,” said Bach in an address to the athletes after postponing the Games.
“In order to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympics and to make a contribution to the containment of the coronavirus, we agreed to postpone the Olympics to the latest the summer of 2021,” he added.
The IOC chief also admitted that the task which lays ahead of them is unprecedented as he believed that the Olympics are the most complex event on this planet and organising a postponed one will be harder.
“We have no blueprint for this. We will need everybody’s contribution to make this happening because the Olympics are the most complex event on this planet. We want to provide you with the best conditions and a safe environment so give us some time now to analyse these big questions and put this huge jigsaw puzzle together,” the head of the international governing body said.
“It could be a true celebration of the determination we have and the Olympic spirit which unites us all. You would be the main protagonist of this Olympic community celebrating this light at the end of the tunnel for humanity. I cannot promise ideal solutions but I can promise that we do everything to have the best possible games for everybody and first and foremost for you, the athletes,” Bach added.
Meanwhile, both Japan and the IOC were adamant to keep the Tokyo Olympics on schedule. While the IOC chief had said there was no need for a drastic decision, the Japanese PM had pledged to host the Games as scheduled and refused to declare the crisis an emergency in his country.
However, with Canada and Australia withdrawing from the Games on Monday, the pressure piled up on the authorities. Both the countries stated that it won’t be sending its contingent to Tokyo 2020 Olympics unless the tournament happens next year.