VASANOC welcomes IOC decision to postpone Olympic Games

VASANOC Chief Executive Henry Tavoa. Photo: VASANOC

Vanuatu Association of Sports and National Olympic (VASANOC) has welcomed the decision by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

VASANOC said the decision will now relieve the Ni-Van athletes and officials of having to train amidst lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

VASANOC Chief Executive Officer, Henry Tavoa said; “VASANOC appreciates the decision of IOC.

“There were concerns on athletes and officials, health and welfare taking part for the game and this news is a relief to all our Vanuatu athletes,” Tavoa said.

Last week VASANOC instructed all sporting federations not to organise local competitions and also traveling for international competition in a fight to combat COVID-19.

Earlier yesterday, for the first time in the history of the mega global event, the Olympics were postponed by a year.

The decision was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) after the organising body for the event and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to reschedule the Tokyo Olympics in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Olympics were cancelled in the past but were never postponed. In 1916, 1940 and 1944, the Games were cancelled because of the World Wars.

The Tokyo Olympics will now take place next year.

The IOC has, however, said that the original name of Tokyo 2020 will remain intact irrespective of the fact that it will take place next year.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC said in an official statement.

“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. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” the statement added.

The IOC was under immense pressure to postpone the games as the entire world has been sent in a lockdown due to COVID-19.

The Tokyo Olympic Games were slated to be held from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 6.

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