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  • A man turns his back on the Olympic rings installed in Tokyo, March 20, 2020.

    A man turns his back on the Olympic rings installed in Tokyo, March 20, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 24 March 2020

This measure aims to safeguard the health of the athletes and the international community.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach agreed Tuesday to postpone the Olympic games until the summer of 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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"Based on the information provided by the World Health Organization, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021," the IOC said.

This measure aims to "safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community."

On March 22, the IOC gave four weeks to decide whether the games were to be delayed or not. However, it did not take three days from that announcement for the parties to postpone the event due to pressure exerted by athletes, sports federations and national organizations.

Until just a week ago, both PM Abe and Bach were reluctant to postpone the games, although other IOC voices did speak openly about the cancellation or delay of the Olympics.

Even though the games will be postponed for a little over a year, the Japanese organizers have decided to keep "Tokyo 2020" as the name of the event.

the Olympic flame that came from Olympia (Greece) will stay lit as a way to symbolize "the light at the end of the tunnel we are in now", the IOC explained.

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