Cancel your plane tickets and hotel reservations, everyone. On March 24, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo have been postponed until 2021 over fears of the coronavirus, also called COVID-19. It's only the fourth time in history the Games have been fully canceled, and naturally, people are shocked. These tweets about the 2020 Tokyo Olympics being canceled are full of disappointment and praise at the same time.
Fears about the novel coronavirus have been circulating for months, after an outbreak in Wuhan, China, first made news in late January. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a pandemic on March 11. As of March 24, there were an estimated 380,000 cases worldwide, with more than 43,000 of those in the United States. However, the IOC held off on canceling the Games, which are expensive and involve intense logistical planning, as long as possible.
The Olympic Games were originally scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, from July 24 to Aug. 9, 2020. On March 24, the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee put out a joint statement saying the Games would be postponed until summer 2021. Then, on March 30, the IOC said in a new statement the Games would take place from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2021.
The decision comes after increasing calls from athletes, fans, and governments to either postpone or cancel the Games over the safety concerns. On March 23, the Olympic committees of Canada and Australia said they would not send their athletes to Tokyo this summer for the Games due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Still, people were upset by the announcement. The Games have been canceled three times in modern history — in 1916, 1940, and 1944 — in all instances, due to an ongoing World War. 2020 is the first time ever the Olympics have been postponed. Most people seemed to think that the decision, although clearly disappointing, was the right call for authorities to make.
Athletes also weighed in, with many noting that the disappointment of the athletes who had worked so hard for their Olympic dream was nothing compared to the safety and health risk of holding the Olympics during a pandemic.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all Elite Daily's coverage of coronavirus here.
Editor's Note: This story was updated to reflect the new dates for the 2020 Olympic Games.
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