SPANISH athletes have welcomed the IOC’s decision to consider a postponement of the Olympic Games in four weeks.
The IOC announced on Sunday that the Tokyo Olympics will probably not be held from July 24 to August 9 as planned.
After several weeks of resistance, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally accepted that it will be very difficult to hold the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on the planned dates.
In a statement released this Sunday, the top Olympic body acknowledges that they have begun studying what possibilities lie ahead and that they will decide in the next four weeks when the games will be held. This is the first time that the IOC openly admits to the possibility of a postponement.
Initially, the IOC said they would wait until May to decide, however as former IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch said to ABC, the advance of the pandemic has caused the resolution to be brought forward.
At the moment, though there is nothing official, the change of stance has been met with relief by many athletes. In particular the Spanish athletes, who because of the confinement in Spain have not been able to proceed with any optimal training.
“I am very happy to see that the economic factor has not been able to overcome the human factor and the Olympic spirit”, said the triathlete Fernando Alarza on Twitter.
“We are dreaming again. First things first”, said the judoka Julia Figueroa.
Others, such as beach volleyball players Lili Fernandez and Elba Baquerizo similarly expressed their relief: “We will wait for the new date of the Tokyo Games. Meanwhile, #StayHome #TrainHome,” they posted to their joint Instagram account.
Following the IOC’s announcement, the International Paralympic Committee also released a statement, through its President Andrew Parsons, highlighting their support: “The IPC and I am certain, the whole Paralympic Movement, fully support the IOC’s decision to look into the potential scenarios regarding the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, including postponement.
“Human life is much more important than anything at all, and currently it is vital that everyone, including athletes, stay at home to help prevent the further spread of this horrible disease which is impacting the global community.
“In relation to the Games, the health and well-being of every single person attending is the number one priority and taking this decision is absolutely the right thing to do, considering the unprecedented situation we currently face.
“The next four weeks will provide time to see if the global health situation improves, while giving a window of opportunity to look into different scenarios should the dates of the Games need to be changed.
“As you can imagine, potentially changing the dates of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is a huge logistical challenge, and the IPC will support the IOC every step of the way.”