The past couple of weeks have been a rollercoaster of doubts and rumours regarding the Summer Olympics, and whether the coronavirus will force organizers to postpone or cancel the event. Today in Lausanne, Switzerland, at an International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board meeting, an IOC spokesperson said the Games will go ahead as planned.
This news comes just a week after Canadian IOC member Dick Pound said Tokyo organizers have a three-month window to decide whether or not to cancel the Games due to coronavirus. Members of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee and Japanese government responded to Pound’s remarks, saying that cancelling the Olympics were not an option. After the IOC’s statements today, it looks like the committee and Pound are on different pages.
Mark Adams, a spokesperson for the IOC, was asked when a decision would have to be made to decide the fate of the Games, and he responded definitively.
"I would like to encourage all the athletes to continue their preparation."
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) March 3, 2020
“We’ve made a decision,” he said. “And the decision is that the Games go ahead.” Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, also spoke at the board meeting, and he, too, said that the plan is the same as it’s always been for this summer.
“We remain very confident with regards to the success of these Olympic Games,” he said. “I would like to encourage all the athletes to continue their preparation.”
It was reported by the New York Times that, as of this week, schools all across Japan would be closed to limit the spread of the virus.