Tokyo Olympics officially postponed to 2021

Olympic flag / Source: International Olympic Committee
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TOKYO (KKTV) - The 2020 Summer Olympics have officially been postponed in the wake of the ongoing international health crisis.

The Tokyo Olympics will now be held in 2021, according to the International Olympic Committee. The news came shortly after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced the IOC had agreed to a proposed one-year postponement.

The IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee released a joint statement Tuesday, saying, in part:

"In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, 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, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community."

Numerous athletes and teams had been calling on the IOC to push the Olympics back. CNN reports USA Gymnastics, USA Swimming, and USA Track and Field all issued statements saying the teams want to postpone the 2020 games, and a majority of Olympic athletes who responded to a survey agreed.

Canada and Australia went a step further, stating they would not send athletes to Toyko if the Olympics went on as scheduled.

This would be the first time in Olympic history that the games are rescheduled during peacetime. They were canceled three times (1916, 1940 and 1944) due to the world wars.

The last pandemic of this magnitude, the Spanish flu of 1918, happened between games.

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