Canada announced that even if the Tokyo Olympics are held as scheduled, it will not send teams to participate, becoming the first country to announce its withdrawal under the outbreak of a new coronavirus.
Earlier, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said for the first time that the possibility of a postponement of the Tokyo Olympics could not be ruled out.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) will decide within four weeks whether the Tokyo Olympics, originally scheduled to open on July 24, will be postponed.
This is the first time the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government have publicly stated that the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics may be postponed.
The Australian delegation also stated that it was "obvious" that the Tokyo Olympics could not proceed as scheduled and the team had instructed the athletes to prepare for the 2021 Olympics.
Canada urgent appeal for extension
The Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Commission said that after consulting athletes, sports organizations and the Canadian government, they made "this difficult decision."
The country also "urgently appealed" to the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to extend the Tokyo Olympics by one year.
A statement from the Canadian delegation stated: "Although we acknowledge that delays will inevitably cause many problems, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the international community."
Later, the Canadian delegation officially tweeted: "Postpone today and conquer tomorrow."
According to the Russian news network reported on the 23rd, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) said that in view of the changing situation at home and abroad (outbreaks), the Australian team "cannot gather" to participate in the Olympic Games this summer and will prepare for 2021.
Successive officials from the Canadian and Australian Olympic committees have announced their absence from the "scheduled" Olympic Games.
Kyodo News reported that in view of the worldwide spread of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the American Athletics Association, the British Athletics Association, and the Olympic Committees of Norway and Brazil all expressed their desire to extend the Tokyo Olympics. Regarding whether Japan's Tokyo Olympics will be postponed, US President Trump said at a White House press conference on the 21st that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe "will make a judgment in the near future."
The report said that Trump again pointed out that "including options to postpone to next year, there are various options," and said "I don't know how he judges, and I don't think it should exert influence."
The epidemic has lasted for many weeks. Although there have been many doubts about whether the Tokyo Olympics can be held as scheduled and some people have called for an extension, Japanese officials have always insisted that the Olympics will be held as planned.
However, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe addressed the Japanese parliament on Monday (March 23), he acknowledged for the first time that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics may have to be postponed.
"If it becomes difficult to host the (Olympics) in full, extension will be an unavoidable decision because we believe that the safety of athletes is paramount," Abe said.
However, he still insisted that he would not cancel the Olympic Games.
Historically, the Olympic Games have never been postponed or cancelled in peacetime. The 1940 Olympics were cancelled due to World War II. The original host of the Olympics was Tokyo.
Decided within four weeks
On Sunday (March 22), the International Olympic Committee stated that it had set a four-week deadline for itself to decide on the arrangements for the 2020 Olympic Games.
The IOC's statement states that its executive committee has "launched the next step in the IOC's scenario planning."
In the plan, extension will be one of the possibilities, and it will also include "downsizing", but the IOC also insists that cancelling the Olympics "will not solve any problems and will not help anyone."
This latest development is a major shift in the IOC's position-just five days ago, the IOC still stated that it was "full investment" to prepare the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as planned.
The IOC also said that the recent surge in new coronavirus cases and outbreaks in multiple countries and continents has made the Executive Committee feel that further planning is needed.
IOC President Thomas Bach said in a letter to athletes: "Human life is above all else, including the hosting of the Games ..."
"At the end of this dark road, we are moving forward together, not knowing how long it will be, and the end of this passage will be the light of the Olympic flame."
Multiple organizations call for extension
On Monday, Australia guided the country's athletes in preparation for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the Northern Hemisphere summer of 2021.
"The Games are clearly impossible to host in July," said Ian Chesterman, head of the Australian delegation.
Sir Hugh Robertson, Chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA), welcomed the decision of the IOC Executive Committee to review the Olympics arrangements, and urged the IOC to "consider those athletes facing significant uncertainty" and make a decision as soon as possible.
On Sunday, IAAF President Sebastian Coe (Koe / Gower) wrote to Bach that hosting the Olympic Games in July was "neither feasible nor ideal."
The USA Track and Field and Global Athlete also called for the postponement of the Olympic Games.
The head of the organization, British cyclist Callum Skinner, said: "As the global pandemic worsens, more and more community restrictions are being implemented, and I think we should now This decision is made. "
Cost of complexity
At present, the cancellation of the Olympic Games is not taken into consideration by the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Organizing Committee, but even if it is postponed, it will still have a significant impact.
IOC Chairman Bach said in a letter to the athletes on Sunday that "we are in trouble" but it is still too early to make a final decision on the date of the Tokyo Olympics.
He said that postponing the event would be "an extremely complex challenge," and cancelling it would "destroy the Olympic dream of 11,000 athletes."
Bach pointed out that once postponed, some important venues of the Tokyo Olympics may become unavailable. In addition, as many as 33 Olympic events will be adjusted accordingly in the following year's individual event schedules, and this is only "more of the challenges A few of them. "
The IOC will ultimately have to listen to the recommendations of the WHO and the Japanese government before making a decision.