The Olympic Games are normally scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games are scheduled to take place from August 25 to September 6.
Change of tone. Until now adamant about the holding of the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe admitted, Monday, March 23, the possibility of a postponement in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The world can always count on Japan to host the Games this summer, Shinzo Abe told the Japanese Parliament, but “if it becomes difficult, taking the athletes into account as a priority”, the decision to postpone “could become inevitable”.
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The Olympic Games are normally scheduled to take place in Tokyo from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games are scheduled to take place from August 25 to September 6. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike also backed Monday's remarks by Shinzo Abe and the IOC, agreeing that a postponement will be part of the scenarios that will be discussed over the next four weeks by all partners involved.
Sunday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the opening of discussions “to draw up an inventory of the rapid development of the health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games”. These debates, which will include the scenario of a postponement, must be finalized “in the next four weeks”. The CEO has however ruled out outright cancellation of the event.
Considering a new date became essential at a time when most sports competitions are stopped on all continents, and when nearly a billion people have to stay at home, with often drastic confinement measures. More than 324,000 cases of infection have been recorded in 171 countries and territories since the start of the health crisis, which killed at least 14,396 people, according to the latest report established by AFP on Sunday at 8 p.m.
Some countries have already positioned themselves in favor of a postponement. The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, for example, took a step forward by announcing on Sunday that they would not send their athletes if the Olympic Games were held this summer. Canada calls for a one-year postponement. In France, the Minister of Health Olivier Véran had also declared Sunday reluctant to send athletes to Japan in four months.