The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have been postponed until next year because of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
You can still read the latest issue of Enable online, where we look at the importance of para sport.
The International Olympic Committee granted calls for the Games to be postponed.
The event, which was scheduled to being on 24 July with the Paralympic Games to start on 25 August, will now take place ‘no later’ than summer 2021.
Mike Sharrock, CEO of the BPA, said: “The British Paralympic Association fully supports the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Stemming this global public health crisis and doing everything possible to safeguard the health and wellbeing of people should clearly take priority in these unprecedented times.”
Canada was the first major country to withdraw from both the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the USA Track and Field, athletics’ US governing body, had also called for a postponement.
After calling cancelation the only ‘logical option’, International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parson added: “The health and wellbeing of human life must always be our number-one priority and staging a sporting event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.
“Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is. It is essential, therefore, that all steps are taken to try to limit the spread of this disease.”
On 22 January, Olympic qualifying events in boxing and women’s football that were due to be held in Wuhan, China – the centre of the coronavirus outbreak – became the first to be moved or postponed.
Postponement of the Games has been a positive call for the safety of athletes.
“We welcome the clarity this now gives Paralympic athletes throughout the world who have had their training and qualification plans severely disrupted but also recognise it will still be a deeply unsettling time for athletes who have worked for years focussed on delivering their best possible performance in Tokyo this summer,” continued Mike.
“The British Paralympic Association is already implementing contingency plans to ensure ParalympicGB athletes have everything in place to be best prepared for the Games when they are staged in 2021.”
Now set to take place in 2021, with Tokyo still hosting, the news of postponing the Games came from a joint statement from the organisers of Tokyo 2020 and the IOC.
The Games will still be called Tokyo 2020 even though it has been confirmed, the event will take place in 2021.