The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, and the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, agreed yesterday that, given the severity of the global pandemic of COVID-19, the Tokyo Games should be delayed at the latest to the summer of 2021. The decision, which has been made based on reports from the World Health Organization, comes after the IOC gave itself four weeks last Sunday to decide on the postponement.
As president of the Spanish Olympic Committee I have always stated that health and safety are paramount and that athletes should compete on equal terms. Neither one thing nor the other was possible in the current scenario, so I welcome the advancement of the decision.
I want to thank our athletes for their peace of mind during these days of uncertainty and to tell them that they have the support of the Royal Household and the Government. They have everyone’s applause for their solidarity and they will not lack financial aid or the means to prepare for the Tokyo Games, which the world will attend in 2021 and which we hope will be a great celebration of world sport.
Alejandro Blanco is president of the Spanish Olympic Committee