Cyprus Olympic Committee suggests the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, scheduled to start on July 24 because the coronavirus pandemic is affecting the preparation of athletes.
Committee President Dinos Michaelides sent a letter on Monday to the President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach, expressing the position of the COC to postpone the Games due to the rapid spread of coronavirus in Europe and the restrictive measures being taken in all countries, including Cyprus.
Michaelides notes that beyond what the pandemic has caused, “as a result of the conditions being formed, our athletes are unable to prepare properly for the Games.”
He said: “The Cyprus Olympic Committee will respect and follow the instructions of the International Olympic Committee in the context of the Olympic Movement`s common goals and the safety of our athletes.”
Major sporting nations Australia and Canada quit Tokyo 2020 on Monday as organisers faced global pressure to postpone the Games due to the coronavirus crisis for the first time in their 124-year modern history.
The IOC and Japanese government have both edged back from weeks of blanket insistence the Games would go ahead, announcing a month-long consultation over other scenarios including postponement.
The Olympics have never before been delayed, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916, 1940 and 1944 during the World Wars and major Cold War boycotts disrupted the Moscow and Los Angeles Games in 1980 and 1984 respectively.
“The moment the IOC indicates that it is thinking about other solutions, it has already decided to delay the Games,” said French Olympic Committee president Denis Masseglia.
Canada and Australia both bluntly said they would not participate if the Games were not put back to 2021.