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Coronavirus Concerns Cause the 2020 Summer Olympics to be Postponed

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee has announced that the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will now take place in 2021. This is the first Summer Olympics that will not take place in the scheduled four-year period since the 1940 and 1944 Olympics were cancelled due to World War II.

President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo conducted a conference call in which they voiced mutual concern about the coronavirus pandemic led to the decision to postpone the Olympic Games.

The World Health Organization reportedly played a role in both the Olympic committee and Japanese government’s decision consulting with them in which they informed them that this is an “accelerating” pandemic.

The IOC originally announced the Olympic Games were considering postponing the games but would not cancel them. In a survey the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee to more than 4,000 American Olympics hopefuls, nearly 70% of respondents said they didn’t think the Games would be fair if held in July. Both Canada and Australia announced they would not take part in the games if they took place this year.

United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland wrote a letter to U.S. Olympic athletes saying,

“Despite the feeling of eventuality that so many of us have felt in the lead up to this moment — my heart breaks for you, your fellow athletes around the world, our friends at Tokyo 2020, the people of Japan, and all who are impacted by this global pandemic and the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games 2020.”

As a result of the postponing, organizers of the Olympics and other experts estimate this will result in a loss of anywhere between $12.6-$25 billion.

The 2020 Summer Olympics opening ceremony was originally set to begin July 24th.

Various Olympic athletes have taken to social media to show support for the Olympic committee’s decision and assure that they will be ready to compete next year.

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