2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics postponed one year amid COVID-19 outbreak
Updated: 2020-03-25 13:34:06 KST
Once the COVID-19 outbreak really caught hold, there was a sense of inevitability, but finally, we now know for sure that the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games will not be held this year.
After a phone call with Thomas Bach, the head of the IOC, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Tuesday announced that the Games which were slated for a July 24th start, will be delayed until 2021.
"I got an answer from President Bach that he agreed 100 percent. We agreed that we would hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics by the summer of 2021."
Bach announced the postponement shortly after, saying the decision was made to safeguard the health of athletes and everybody involved in the Olympics.
The decision is an unprecedented move, as it's the first ever postponement of an Olympics in its long history.
Previously, the Olympics have been cancelled due to world wars.
So will next year's Olympic Games be called 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games? According to the IOC chief, the answer is no.
And we also agreed that the name will be kept as 'Olympic Games Tokyo 2020', again to show our commitment and the highly symbolic meaning of these Olympic Games who then hopefully can and will be, at the end, a celebration of human kind having overcome this unprecedented challenge of the coronavirus."
And what kind of impact will the postponement have?
According to experts, overall domestic financial losses could reach between five to six billion US dollars.
The impact will apply to both the host nation, and companies which have poured an estimated three billion dollars into sponsorships.
The Tokyo Games being delayed one year, also raises speculation the next Summer Olympic Games slated for 2024 in Paris may also be pushed back.
However, the head of the Paris Games Organizing Committee insists the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics will have "no impact" and the event will go ahead as scheduled in "summer 2024."
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.