Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed to 2021


After much speculation and debate amidst the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, the International Olympics Committee (IOC) and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, have decided to move the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games by one year. This was after both Australia and Canada had threatened not to send their athletes to represent them in the games, should the event be held this summer as originally planned.

This is the latest and indeed largest event to be disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, marking the first time outside a major world war that the Olympic Games would not be held as scheduled. But the inevitability of the postponement had been known for quite some time now, given the current landscape and the fact that a lot of lead-up sporting events and trainings had been canceled or placed on hold.

Tokyo 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had this to say about the postponement. “We agreed that a postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators.”

An outright cancellation would have hurt the Japanese economy by as much as 1.4 percent of its current economic output, an economy that is already struggling, so the postponement to 2021 acts as the best-case alternative, even though it brings with it additional costs and complications.

Japan won hosting rights to the event in 2013, beating out Madrid and Istanbul, and it has already invested more than $10 billion in preparation since then. The 2024 Olympics are to be held in Paris, while the 2028 Olympics are scheduled to take place in Los Angeles, the first time the American city would be hosting the event since it did back in 1984, and its third time overall.

The Olympic rings

What do you think about the 2020 Olympic Games finally getting moved to Summer 2021? Do you think the effects of the coronavirus pandemic would be behind us by then? Let us know in the comments section below.