It appears the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan has become the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to USA Today, the summer Olympics will likely be postponed until 2021. More information will be announced in the next four weeks, International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound shared with the newspaper on Monday.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound told The USA Today in a phone interview. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”
Pound, of Canada, said the IOC should learn the future date and next steps soon.
“It will come in stages,” Pound told The USA Today. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”
The newspaper asked IOC spokesman, Mark Adams, to confirm Pound’s comment, for which he replied: “It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced yesterday.”
In Sunday’s IOC executive board announcement, IOC President Thomas Bach said he decide over the next month whether the Tokyo Olympics could continue – but didn’t outright cancel the games in that announcement. Bach did acknowledge that postponing the games is something the committee is considering.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also recently said the Olympics would likely be postponed.
“If I’m asked whether we can hold the Olympics at this point in time, I would have to say that the world is not in such a condition,” Abe told parliament, according to USA Today.
The Olympics have seemingly become the largest sporting event to date to get upstaged by the global outbreak. In the United States, the NBA, the NHL, spring training for Major League Baseball, the NCAA, and many scheduled marathons in major U.S. and global cities have been canceled.