IOC: Tokyo 2020 Olympics Won't Be Cancelled or Postponed Due to Coronavirus

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 13, 2020

The logo of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is seen at the sports governing body's headquaters on May 22, 2019 in Pully near Lausanne, on the occasion of a meeting of the IOC executive committee on boxing at the 2020 Olympic Games. - The International Amateur Boxing Federation (AIBA) enters a decisive day for its future as the International Olympic Committee could decide to withdraw it from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Olympic Committee has said the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will proceed as planned despite the coronavirus outbreak in China.

Per the Associated Press (via ESPNorganising committee president Yoshiro Mori said Thursday: "I would like to make it clear again that we are not considering a cancellation or postponement of the games. Let me make that clear."

The Olympics are set to run from July 24 until August 9. 

The death toll from China's Hubei province increased to more than 1,300 on Thursday, per Reuters:

Reuters @Reuters

The Chinese province at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak reported a record rise in the death toll under a new diagnostic method. Follow @Reuters liveblog for the latest developments around the new #coronavirus outbreak https://t.co/cEBwkonfeh https://t.co/npvcaq3ffk

Japanese broadcaster NHK (h/t Reuters) reported Thursday that a taxi driver in Tokyo has tested positive for the coronavirus.

NHK also reported that a woman became the first person in Japan infected with the virus to die. The woman, who was in her 80s, died in the Kanagawa prefecture, just south of Tokyo.

The outbreak of the virus has prompted a number of sporting events in China to be postponed, including the Chinese Formula One Grand Prix:

Will Gray @WillGrayGC

More #coronavirus fallout in golf: PGA Tour-China has postponed 2 qualifying tournaments and the first 4 events of the regular season. Instead of starting in late March, goal is for season to begin late May/early June. Last week LPGA nixed 2 Asian events as virus concerns mount.

Rebecca Williams 📺 @RebeccaTVnews

Hong Kong & Singapore rounds of World Rugby 7s have been rescheduled from April to September due to the #coronavirus. I’ll have updates on this and other sporting events affected throughout the day...

Sky Sports F1 @SkySportsF1

The 2020 #ChineseGP has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. @craigslatersky discusses the FIA and Formula 1's decision to cancel the race. Full story ➡️ https://t.co/1MPwr7jnxb #SkyF1 | #F1

Tokyo organising committee CEO Toshiro Muto said last week he was "seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the games."

However, he backtracked the following day and issued a similar message of confidence that the Games will go ahead as normal.

Saburo Kawabuchi, who played for Japan's men's football team at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo and will head the Olympic Village this year, believes the country's summer climate could neutralise the virus because it is "susceptible to humidity and heat."

During the event, the Olympic Village will be home to around 11,000 athletes as well as thousands of staff and volunteers.


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