The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will reportedly be postponed.
Photo: Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images

The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will not take place this summer, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Tuesday. The Games will instead take place in the summer of 2021.

The New York Times reports that Abe’s announcement came after a conversation with International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach:

In announcing the decision, Abe said he had asked Thomas Bach, president of the I.O.C., for a one-year delay and he had “agreed 100 percent.” I.O.C. leader have acknowledged the disruption but said that a delay was the only way to ensure that athletes could train safely and the more than $10 billion the Japan has spent to prepare for the Olympics during the past seven years would not go to waste.

IOC member Dick Pound broke the news of the postponement to USA Today’s Christine Brennan on Monday. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense,” Pound said.

On Sunday, the IOC indicated for the first time that the postponement of the games was on the table. A press release posted on Tokyo2020.org said:

In light of this situation, Tokyo 2020 held an urgent video conference with IOC President Bach last night, during which we agreed to proceed with detailed discussions of different scenarios, including postponement of the Games, in full coordination with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Government of Japan, relevant Japanese authorities, international sport federations and National Olympic Committees.

For months, the IOC insisted that the Games, set to begin July 24 in Tokyo, would go off as planned. But calls to alter this summer’s plans increased in recent days as the realities of the coronavirus outbreak set in across the globe, with Olympic committees in Norway, Brazil, and the USA Swimming and Track and Field teams calling for the Games to be moved.

2020 Tokyo Olympics Postponed Due to Coronavirus