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USA Swimming calls for one-year Tokyo Olympics delay

21 Mar 2020
The Aquatics Centre, venue for the swimming competitions in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Nov. 21, 2019. (AFP)
The Aquatics Centre, venue for the swimming competitions in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Nov. 21, 2019. (AFP)
Inflatable structure in the shape of a swimming athlete, at an event for Tokyo Olympic Games, Aug. 25, 2019. (Shutterstock)
Inflatable structure in the shape of a swimming athlete, at an event for Tokyo Olympic Games, Aug. 25, 2019. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 21 Mar 2020
21 Mar 2020

USA Swimming has called for postponing the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics by one year due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

In a letter, released Friday, the head of the US national governing body for swimming urged the US proposal for the Tokyo Games delay.

"As this global pandemic has grown, we have watched our athletes' worlds be turned upside down and watched them struggle to find ways to continue to prepare and train--many for the biggest competitive opportunity of their lives," USA Swimming said.

The postponement "is a solution that provides a concrete path forward and allows all athletes to prepare for a safe and successful Olympic Games in 2021," the group said.

In a statement, the USOPC expressed its support for the International Olympic Committee's position that it is too early to determine whether or not the Tokyo Games should be held as scheduled.

Meanwhile, The Washington Post said in an editorial Friday that "the Olympics must be canceled or postponed."

Referring to the Olympic flame arrival ceremony held in Japan on Friday, the US newspaper said that "it is completely ludicrous...completely irresponsible that Olympic and Japanese officials are acting as if the games can go on as the world battles what threatens to be a historic pandemic."

The Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee said Friday that it has sent IOC President Thomas Bach a letter to request that the

Tokyo Games not be held until the coronavirus outbreak is put under control globally.

Also on Friday, Japanese Olympic Committee board member Kaori Yamaguchi said that it appears difficult to hold the Olympics as scheduled under the current situations worldwide.

She said, when considering what is best for athletes, she is unsure whether it is right to start the Tokyo Games on July 24.

Yamaguchi said she will express her opinion at a JOC board meeting on March 27.

JIJI Press

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