Published: Tue, March 24, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Tokyo Olympics to be postponed — International Olympic Committee member

Tokyo Olympics to be postponed — International Olympic Committee member

A man walks past a display showing a countdown to the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo yesterday.

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Canada has already said it will not send athletes to the Tokyo games, if they are held from July 24 to August 9 as planned.

On Sunday, the International Olympic Committee said in a statement that because of "significant improvements in Japan", and "with certain safety restrictions", Japan could host the games and still "safeguarding the health of everyone involved".

'The IOC is confident that it will have finalised these discussions within the next four weeks, and greatly appreciates the solidarity and partnership of the NOCs and IFs in supporting the athletes and adapting games planning, ' the IOC said.

Talk of postponing the games has been growing louder as one of the IOC's senior members, Dick Pound, said his organization had made a decision to move the Games to 2021.

Concerts, sporting events, global gatherings and other major public gatherings around the world have been cancelled over recent weeks as part of that effort.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees made the right decision in announcing Canadian athletes will not go to this summer's Tokyo Olympics or Paralympics if they start on their scheduled dates.

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Ian Chesterman, Australian Team Chef de Mission for Tokyo said the postponement of the Games would allow competitors from around the world to properly prepare with the hope the coronavirus crisis would be under control.

There have been more than 384,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide and more than 16,500 deaths.

AOC President John Coates has led the IOC's Tokyo 2020 Coordination Commission, which has been overseeing preparations for the Games in the Japanese capital.

Calls to postpone the Games have risen sharply in the past few days, as the deadly coronavirus continues to spread to country after country.

The IOC has also come under pressure from International Federations, with World Athletics the most high-profile.

Abe added that he might have to communicate his own thoughts directly to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, saying the world was not ready to hold an Olympics.

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