The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been openly criticized last week for not postponing the 2020 Olympics that was scheduled to take place in Tokyo in July. The IOC delayed making any decision in the hopes that COVID-19 would be arrested and the summer Olympics would be able to go on as per schedule.
Canada and Australia took things into their own hands by confirming their withdrawal from the 2020 Games. A member of the Japanese Olympic Committee also went on record to claim that the IOC needs to cancel the games and not put players at risk. Those pressure tactics have worked as the IOC has made the decision to suspend the event for the first time in 124 years.
The IOC has confirmed that the 2020 Olympics will be suspended and will now take place in 2021.
In modern times, the Olympics have only been cancelled in 1916, 1940, and 1944, during World Wars, and were disrupted during 1980 and 1984 with Cold War boycotts.
Given the fact that the Olympics takes place every four years, the IOC did not want to cancel or postpone the event. However, considering the seriousness of the COVID-19 epidemic, there was no other option but to call of the games for now.
Japan has spent more than $20 billion preparing to host the Olympics and has received massive investments from a number of sponsors and broadcasting partners. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics would have brought in massive revenue for Tokyo, Japan and the IOC. However, the IOC and Japan have had to compromise and must be prepared to absorb the financial loss that rises from the postponement.
IOC and JOC Release Joint Statement
The IOC and JOC released a joint statement claiming that they decided to take the decision to postpone the Olympics to 2021 after the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report which showed that there are now over 372,000 confirmed cases of individuals being infected with the corona virus.
The Prime Minister of Japan and the IOC President made the decision to postpone the Olympics in the best interests of the athletes and the public. The Olympics will not be moved from Tokyo and cannot be postponed further than 2021. The decision was also made that the Games will continue to retain the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.