Coronavirus: Tokyo Olympics could be held before summer of 2021

Great Britain hockey player Susannah Townsend

Great Britain hockey player Susannah Townsend

The announcement came a day after the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced that they would not be sending athletes to Tokyo this summer if the Games went ahead as planned.

Next year's games "will testify to the defeat of the virus", said Prime Minister Abe.

Four-time Olympic gold medalist in women's ice hockey, Hayley Wickenheiser, who had called on the IOC to postpone the Games, tweeted that she too was happy with the decision.

"In the last couple of weeks the measures of many governments, they were limited until middle of April, some beginning of May, " the International Olympic Committee president said, per ESPN.

The International Olympic Committee did the expected on Tuesday, and officially postponed the 2020 Tokyo Olympics because of the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are extremely proud of our athletes and celebrate their discipline, resilience and understanding of the decision". With Tokyo 2020 now being pushed back to next year, the two events look likely to be held in really close dates.

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One of the many logistical headaches caused by the historic postponement of the Tokyo Olympics has been the uncertainty around the Athletes' Village overlooking Tokyo Bay. Reports suggest the country has spent more than $12 billion on the Games, while huge sums are also at stake for sponsors and broadcasters.

While the delay will alter training plans and derail months of preparation, top American cyclists applauded the decision to reschedule the Summer Games that were scheduled to start July 24.

If agreement is not reached on who will pick up the bill, it may ultimately need to be resolved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The Olympic flame will stay in Japan "as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times".

The IOC is due to start talks from Thursday with other global sporting bodies as moving the enormous Olympics event has a knock-on effect for many other competitions.

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