Finally, it is confirmed that the 2020 Summer Olympics scheduled to begin from 24th July in Tokyo have been postponed due to coronavirus pandemic. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe in a statement on Thursday, said that the Olympics 2020 games will be rescheduled to 2021. It is for the first time in the 124 year Olympics history, that the event has been moved or delayed during peacetime.
Japanese Prime Minister said, “We have agreed that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics will be held by the summer of 2021 at least”.
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the International Olympics Committee and the Tokyo Olympic Games organizers were under huge pressure to postpone the games, however, the IOC and organizers were till date insisted on playing the games as planned.
Recently the two Olympic participating nations, Canada and Australia stated that they would abandon the games if they are scheduled as planned, while the UK and US too insisted to delay the games.
On Tuesday, 24th March, Abe spoke with IOC president Thomas Bach and other officials, confirming that the games would not take place in 2020, according to the joint statement issued by IOC and Tokyo Organising committee.
The statement says “The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan”.
This is not for the first time, the important event of the Olympic Games has been canceled – in 1916, 1940 and 1944 and the Winter games have been withdrawn twice, in 1940 and 1944, during the world war. The venue for the 1920 summer Olympics was Antwerp and Belgium scheduled from April to September, mainly during the outbreak of the 1918 Influenza pandemic.
Also despite the outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika Virus, the organizers successfully held the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Due to the postponement of the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, Japan is estimated to bear the huge financial loss. According to some estimates, Japan had invested around $32 billion to $41 billion to build venues and hotel venues. The big event of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games was expected to attract around 10000 athletes and 5 million visitors from different parts of the world.
Local businesses were expected to earn huge revenue from this big event, but due to the unprecedented postponement of the games, they will suffer huge losses as both the foreign tourists and locals will stay away from the event.
Also, major sporting events like NBA, NHL, English Premier League and the Euro 2020 tournament, were forced to cancel before the Olympic games. Also events like Mobile World Congress, Coachella and SXSW have been pushed ahead of their planned schedule.