The 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed until next year as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The event, due to begin on July 24th in Tokyo, Japan, will now take place “no later than summer 2021”, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) confirmed. The event has regularly commanded a global TV audience of around 3.5 billion viewers in recent decades.
“I proposed to postpone for a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100 per cent agreement,” Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. “This will make it possible for athletes to play in the best condition, and will make the event a safe and secure one for spectators.”
The Tokyo Paralympic Games will also be postponed until 2021.
BOA chairman Hugh Robertson had already said Great Britain was unlikely to send a team to Tokyo this summer, whilst the likes of Australia and Canada had said they wouldn’t be sending their athletes to compete should the event go ahead this year.
Discovery, a official broadcaster of the Olympic games, issued the following statement in response to the news:
“Discovery fully supports the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee’s plan to stage the Olympic Games in 2021 and to make every effort to ensure the well-being of spectators, athletes, staff and the international community. Our essential planning and deliverables are complete and will now shift into next year. We will continue to develop our products and offerings to best serve our customers and marketing partners in 2021.”