Tokyo 2021 ‘A Bitter-Sweet Victory For The Collective Power Of Athletes’

Foto Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse 20 Dicembre 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport nuoto 2019 ISL - International Swimming League Nella foto: SETO Daiya Photo Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse December 20, 2019 Las Vegas - USA sport swimming 2019 ISL - International Swimming League In the picture: SETO Daiya
Daiya Seto - one of the big medal hopes for Japan at Tokyo 20... 21 - after athletes called for postponement on health, safety and solidarity grounds - Photo Courtesy: Gian Mattia D'Alberto/LaPresse

Global Athlete, the representative body, has praised athletes for their “brave position” in forcing the International Olympic Committee to halt further delay in its decision on Tokyo 2020 after the Games were postponed today for the first time in history. The Games will now be held in 2021.

As the count of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections and victims piles up across the world, the IOC stated at the weekend that it would come to a decision in late April. A 48-hour tidal wave of athlete and federation interventions calling for a postponement until 2021 prompted a rethink and u-turn.

Japan, its Government, Tokyo 2020 organisers and the IOC agreed on a postponement this morning. An announcement came with news that the Games would now be held “no later than 2021”, ending a second uncertainty about the length of delay.

Global Athlete described the decision as “a bittersweet victory for athletes: on one hand their Olympic dreams have been put on hold; on the other hand, athletes have shown their power when they work together as a collective.” It added:

“You are champions on and off the field. You are an inspiration to many.”

The spirit of solidarity among athletes, not just among themselves but with healthcare and other essential workers was summed up by this tweet from the world’s most decorated swimmer among the current competitive crew, Katie Ledecky, of the United States, eight years beyond her first Olympic gold, aged 15 and over 800m freestyle at London 2012.:

Our Coverage On A First For Olympic History

The Global Athlete Statement in Full:

Today is a bittersweet victory for athletes: on one hand their Olympic dreams have been put on hold; on the other hand, athletes have shown their power when they work together as a collective.

Athletes from around the globe were clear in their stance that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must make an immediate decision to postpone the Games and not wait the four weeks as indicated they would need.

At a time when the world is fighting this global pandemic, athletes, as strong global citizens, put their dreams on hold to be a part of the solution in fighting this pandemic.

Global Athlete congratulates all athletes for your brave position. You are champions on and off the field. You are an inspiration to many.

The priority should be to contain this virus. As athletes play their part in self-isolating, we look forward to working with you to further build momentum for athletes’ rights.

While we commend the International Olympic and Paralympic Committees and the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee for coming to this called-for conclusion, they must now engage athletes and athlete groups to be a part of the planning for the forthcoming Tokyo Games. As shown over the past several weeks, no athletes, no Games.

 

 

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