COLORADO SPRINGS– International Olympic Committee President and the Prime Minister of Japan announced that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be rescheduled.
On Wednesday, they announced the games will be pushed back to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.
Colorado Springs, known as “Olympic City USA,” is home to the Olympic Training Center, which has been shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.
USA Gymnast and two-time Olympian Sam Mikulak recently spoke to FOX21’s Julia Maguire, calling for a delay of the games.
Upon the news of the delay, Mikulak says he’s happy the decision was made.
“I think at this point in time, most athletes are gonna take their time – do what’s right in the public eye, stay at home, do their at-home training, and they can do that comfortably and without the stress of feeling like they need to be grinding out some crazy workouts for the Olympic games to help their preparation,” he said.
“Now we can actually use this time to have a little mental health break, and make sure that we’re doing everything we need to help put this coronavirus behind us as fast as possible.”
Doug Price, President and CEO of Visit COS, also spoke with FOX21 about the announcement.
“I think when the news of the postponement became a reality, it kind of saddens a lot of us, because, you know, more than 2,000 people here in Colorado Springs are a part of either the Olympic or Paralympic movement. So, not only does it affect people here in Colorado Springs, but as you can imagine, this touches the world’s economy and particularly those in Toyko. So, it’s a sad day, but we’ve had our fair share of those lately,” he said.
Price also stated the Olympic Celebration event planned for July 24 at the new Olympic and Paralymic museum may proceed as scheduled, but an official determination will be made closer to that date.
Team USA tweeted their support for the postponement on Wednesday.
USOPC CEO Sarah Hirshland sent a letter to the athletes on Wednesday about the announcement.
Her letter read in part, “I thank you for being so forthcoming with your perspectives, and also for allowing us the time to hear from your teammates across all sports before making a recommendation to the IOC.”
On March 18, the Olympic Training Center closed all training venues, until further notice.
According to the press release, the Olympic torch will stay in Japan.
Organizers say the rescheduled Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the IOC statement said.
The Olympics have never before been postponed, and have only ever previously been canceled in wartime.