Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games postponed
Singapore, 25 March 2020 – Following the announcement from the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee regarding the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has reacted with a statement of their own: the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic games will also be postponed.
The Olympic Games, which was set to commence on 24 July 2020 with the Paralympic Games following closely behind on 25 August 2020, was officially postponed yesterday after a conference call between IOC’s President, Mr Thomas Bach, and the Prime Minister of Japan, Abe Shinzo. Along with key officials, they discussed the growing concerns regarding the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on global athletes’ preparations for the Games.
Ms Chelsey Gotell, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council, is “happy that the IOC and Japan’s Prime Minster Abe took this decision so quickly” and believes this is “very welcome news for the global Para athlete community”.
IPC President, Mr Andrew Parsons, shares that the postponement of the Paralympic Games due to the global 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. 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.”
While IPC has not indicated a new date for the event, the rescheduled Olympic Games, and possibly Paralympic Games, is set to take place “no later than the summer of 2021”.
Mr Kevin Wong, Chairman of the Singapore National Paralympic Council (SNPC) is supportive of the postponement.
“We are glad that a decision has been made and we feel it’s only right to have the Paralympic Games postponed due to the current situation. At this point of time, the health and wellness of our Para athletes and officials are paramount, and we will await further updates from IPC and International Federations (IFs) should there be any changes on the qualification process of athletes and revise our selection policy accordingly. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, we will also be reevaluating our approach to trainings and preparations for the Games within the guidelines put in place by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and World Health Organization (WHO).”