Digital Access

Digital Access
Access theherald-news.com and all Shaw Media Illinois content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, sports, business, classified and more! News you can use every day.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
Have our latest news, sports and obituaries emailed directly to you Monday through Friday so you can keep up with what's happening in the area.
Coronavirus

Tokyo Olympics officially postponed until 2021

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to journalists in front of the prime minister's residence in Tokyo, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Abe says IOC president has agreed "100%" to proposal of postponing Olympics for about 1 year. (Charly Triballeau/Pool Photo via AP)
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe talks to journalists in front of the prime minister's residence in Tokyo, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. Abe says IOC president has agreed "100%" to proposal of postponing Olympics for about 1 year. (Charly Triballeau/Pool Photo via AP)

As a public service, Shaw Media will provide open access to information related to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emergency. Sign up for the newsletter here

TOKYO (AP) — The Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021 on Tuesday, ending weeks of speculation that the games could not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Olympic Committee made the decision after speaking with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organizers.

The IOC said the games will be held “not later than summer 2021” but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“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,” the IOC said in a statement.

Before the official announcement, Abe said Bach had agreed with his proposal for a one-year postponement.

“President Bach said he will agree ‘100%,’ and we agreed to hold the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in the summer of 2021 at the latest,” Abe said, saying holding the games next year would be “proof of a victory by human beings against the coronavirus infections.”

The decision came only a few hours after local organizers said the torch relay would start as planned on Thursday. Those plans also changed.

“For the time being, the flame will be stored and displayed in Fukushima,” organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said.

The Olympics have never before been postponed, and have only ever previously been canceled in wartime.

The IOC and Tokyo organizers said they hope the decision to postpone will help the world heal from the pandemic.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC statement said. “Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Loading more