The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were scheduled to begin on July 24 and conclude on August 9, have been postponed.
The announcement from the IOC also said that though the Olympics were being postponed to 2021, they would take place no later than summer 2021. The decision was made due to the accelerated outbreak of COVID-19. The IOC made this decision to safeguard the health of athletes, staff and everybody else involved.
Though the games are postponed, the IOC decided that the games will still keep the same name: Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The Olympic flame will also remain in Japan.
“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 said.
The BYU community will be affected by this decision as seven current athletes and one professor had qualified for the Olympics or Olympic trials as of November 2019.
Mary Lake (women’s volleyball)
Brynn Sproul (women’s swimming): backstroke
Josue Dominguez (men’s swimming): breaststroke
Tyler Edlefsen (men’s swimming): individual medley
Levi Jensen (men’s swimming): freestyle and individual medley
Connor Stirling (men’s swimming): freestyle
Jared Shaw (men’s swimming): freestyle, butterfly and backstroke
Jared Ward (statistics professor): cross country
In addition to the athletes that were set to participate in the Olympics or Olympic trials, BYU cross country and track and field athletic trainer Dustin Williams was selected as the head athletic trainer for the USA track and field medical staff for the games.
This will mark just the fourth time the Olympics have been canceled, and the first time the games have been canceled for non-war-related reasons. The Games were also canceled in 1916 due to World War I and in 1940 and 1944 because of World War II.