The 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed to next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach agreed on the decision Tuesday.
Ron Chang reports.
[Clip: Bach: 00:22]
"We want this Olympic flame to be a light at the end of the tunnel. This is why we will work hard now to undertake this extremely challenging task of postponing the Games and of organizing postponed Games which never happened before."
IOC President Bach made the remark after he spoke with Abe, with both of them agreeing to push back the Games that were scheduled to begin on July 24.
It's the first time the Olympics have been postponed in its 124-year history as only three have been cancelled due to wars in 1916, 1940 and 1944.
The IOC said the new date would be "not later than summer 2021," making it unclear when exactly the Games will take place.
The postponement came amid strong pressure from athletes around the world.
Given an already crowded international sports calendar next year, the postponement is expected to have a ripple effect on other major events, including the world championships for track and swimming.
It could also impact the seasons of South Korean professional sports leagues.
Meanwhile, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics will not affect the Paris Games.
Tony Estanguet, the head of the organizing committee for the competition in the French capital, said the Paris edition "will be held in the summer of 2024."
Ron Chang, eFM News.■
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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