Olympics Postponed Over Coronavirus

2020 Tokyo Olympics Likely To Be Suspended Due To Coronavirus, Japanese PM Admits

IOC member Dick Pound says Tokyo Olympics will be postponed

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee set itself a four-week deadline for a decision on postponing the Games.

Canada and Australia have said they will not go if the Summer Games are not put back to 2021 from their current July 24-August 9 dates.

Pound said the IOC is still working out details, but the committee will postpone the Games due to the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. "We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are huge", said Pound. Pound jumped the gun on the official news-which has not been released by the International Olympic Committee proper as of this writing-by telling the newspaper that "postponement has been decided". No major sports are left standing, although no cancellation or postponement will have as significant an impact as that of the Olympic Games.

The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, set to begin on July 24th, have officially been postponed. The IOC committee veteran didn't lay out specifics, but suggested that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could delay the games until 2021.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said if holding the Games in their "complete form" became impossible, "we may have no option but to consider postponing the Games, given the Olympic principle of putting the health of athletes first".

"Such a response is unacceptable, irresponsible, and once again ignores the rights of athletes", Global Athlete, an organisation which aims to speak for sports competitors, said in a statement.

Paralympic athletes may be at particular risk from the epidemic as some have underlying health problems.

"IOC president Thomas Bach's stubbornness and arrogance has spectacularly failed in this instance and he has weakened the Olympic movement", Skinner wrote on Twitter.

In the 124-years of the modern Olympics, the games has never been postponed, although it has been cancelled three times - in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to the two world wars.

Abe indicated Monday for the first time that postponing the Olympics and Paralympics is a possibility if the games can not be held in their "complete form", meaning that there will be spectators and no downsizing.

He said the pandemic has compromised athletes' training and preparation "irreparably" and they need to stop thinking about Tokyo 2020 and "be home and safe with their families".

The postponement of the Olympics is huge news for the entire sporting world.

The U.S. Olympic Committee did not immediately responded to PEOPLE's request for comment.

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