Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach have reached an agreement to postpone the 2020 Summer Olympics for at least a year, according to multiple reports.
The latest the games would be held, according to Abe, is the summer of 2021. The decision to postpone follows announcements from Canada and Australia earlier this week that they would pull out of the games if they were held in the summer.
“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.
Both the Olympics and the Paralympics will keep the name “Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the IOC added, and the Olympic flame will stay in Tokyo.
It’ll be the first time the Summer Olympics have been called off since the 1944 games, which were canceled due to World War II.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
Cover: Two spectators take a selfie with the Olympic Flame during a ceremony in Fukushima City, Japan, Tuesday, March 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)