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Absolutely right thing to do: IPC President on postponing Tokyo Olympics

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The decision to postpone Tokyo Olympics is "absolutely the right thing to do," according to International Paralympic Committee's (IPC) president Andrew Parsons.

"Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do. The health and well-being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sport event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible," IPC's official website quoted Parsons as saying.

"Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is. It is essential therefore that all steps are taken to try and limit the spread of this disease. The COVID-19 outbreak is now impacting nearly every country in the world and the number of known cases has increased almost five times over in the last 10 days to 375,000," he added.

Parsons further stated that conducting the 2020 Tokyo Olympics 'this year does not make sense' as many communities around the world are in lockdown.

"At a time when many major communities around the world are in lockdown, with workplaces and shops closed and people urged not to leave their own homes, continuing to pursue the dream of the Tokyo 2020 Games happening this year does not make sense; postponement is the only logical option. By taking this decision now, everyone involved in the Paralympic Movement, including all Para athletes, can fully focus on their own health and well-being and staying safe during this unprecedented and difficult time," he said.

"When the Paralympic Games do happen in Tokyo next year, they will be a spectacular global celebration of humanity coming together again as one. The Paralympic Movement is based on people overcoming adversity, and this is what we will do next year," he added.

Earlier on Tuesday, for the first time in the history of the mega global event, the Olympics were postponed by a year.

The decision was confirmed by the IOC after the organising body for the event and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to reschedule the Tokyo Olympics in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympics were cancelled in the past but were never postponed. In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were cancelled because of the World Wars.

The Tokyo Olympics will now take place next year. The IOC has, however, said that the original name of Tokyo 2020 will remain intact irrespective of the fact that it will take place next year.

The Tokyo Olympic Games were slated to be held from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 6.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, March 25 2020. 09:01 IST
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