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IOC considers postponement for Tokyo Olympics - NZ Olympic Committee

by New Zealand Olympic Committee 22 Mar 2020 23:31 PDT
Olympic rings - 2012 Olympic Sailing Regatta, Weymouth © Richard Gladwell

In a statement today, New Zealand Olympic Committee President Mike Stanley indicated that the International Olympic Committee would be deliberating on a range of options - including a postponement - to determine how best to proceed with the Tokyo Olympics in the face of the COVID-19 global health crisis.

“The New Zealand Olympic Committee has today informed athletes of a decision by the IOC to consider a number of scenarios regarding the Tokyo Olympic Games, including postponement," said Stanley. "This development is in response to ongoing uncertainty and growing concern from the international sporting community. The New Zealand Olympic Committee will now seek feedback from the New Zealand Olympic Committee Athletes' Commission and New Zealand sport stakeholders."

In an open letter to the New Zealand Olympic Team, Stanley writes;

"To the New Zealand Team,

Today we learnt that the International Olympic Committee is considering a number of scenarios around the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, including postponement.

In the circumstances, a review of the options is the only realistic way forward. We note that a cancellation has been ruled out.

The health and wellbeing of the New Zealand Team is our main priority and the global situation remains uncertain.

The different scenarios are yet to be confirmed and will be worked through over the coming month.

For our New Zealand athletes this news will be incredibly disruptive. We know years of training go into an Olympic Games performance.

We are aware, however, that our athletes, and those around the world have been increasingly impacted by a lack of access to training facilities, disruption to qualification events and uncertainty around the environment they may face in Tokyo.

Athletes need a safe, and fair, playing field to compete and, right now, the widespread and evolving impact of COVID-19 is not allowing that to happen.

We have the utmost confidence that members of the New Zealand Team will have the resilience, focus and determination to work through any scenario we may face and be ready for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

We will now work with our partners at HPSNZ, National Sporting Organisations and our Athletes’ Commission to listen to feedback and adjust our planning to ensure our athletes are both supported and ready to perform to their best at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

We will also urge the IOC to finalise their decision as soon as possible, bringing clarity to our sports and athletes.

We know our athletes will adapt to this change and continue to inspire pride and excellence in all New Zealanders."

More information on the situation planning for the IOC can be found here

Former IOC Vice President claims decision to postpone is already made

Former International Olympic Committee (IOC) vice-president Richard Pound has claimed the Olympic Games will be postponed, most likely until 2021.

Pound claimed that Tokyo 2020 would not start on July 24 in an interview with USA Today.

"On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided," he said.

"The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know."

Pound has been an IOC member for more than 40 years, holding the position of vice-president from 1987 to 1991 and 1996 to 2000.

His comments came a day after the International Olympic Committee announced it would make a final decision on Tokyo 2020 in four weeks' time.

The four-week window is expected to allow the IOC and Tokyo 2020 the chance to study different options regarding a postponement of the Games.

For the rest of this story from Inside the Games click here...

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