Never before had the Olympic Games been postponed or canceled for something other than war, but rarely has the world come to a grinding halt the way it has over the novel coronavirus.
What felt like the last major sporting event untouched by the current strain of the coronavirus — known formally as COVID-19 — the 2020 Olympics served as a glimmer of hope for the entire globe. But on Tuesday, Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach agreed to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by about one year.
The opening ceremony had been planned for July 24.
Despite the postponement, the Summer Olympics — when they eventually happen — will still be called the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Olympic flame will also remain stored and displayed in Fukushima.
— Olympics (@Olympics) March 24, 2020
“[T]he IOC president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games … must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” said a joint statement by the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and the IOC.