Could Coronavirus Cancel the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

Tokyo Olympics Coronavirus

As of Wednesday March 4, the death toll from the coronavirus has surpassed 3,100 worldwide. Nearly all aspects of day-to-day life around the world have been affected by this, and sports are no exception. With many high-profile sporting events cancelled or postponed, including the Chinese Grand Prix scheduled for April 19  and the World Athletics Indoor Athletics Championships, it begs the question–will the 2020 Olympics, to be held in Tokyo, go on as scheduled?

Coronavirus and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic committee, said Tuesday that The IOC, in cooperation with all the authorities and the National Olympic Committees (NOCs), is fully committed to a successful Olympic Games in Tokyo starting on July 24.”

Tokyo Olympics 2020
Kenga Kuma’s 2020 Olympic Stadium, Tokyo

Seiko Hashimoto, the Olympic minister of Japan, however said in parliament the same day that the 2020 Olympic Games could, theoretically, be postponed to later in the year because of the International Olympic Committee contract stating that they must be held in Tokyo during the 2020 calendar year. 

“In the contract signed by the IOC, the host city and others, it stated the IOC has the right to cancel the games only if they could not be held in 2020,” Hashimoto said. “This could be taken to mean the games could be postponed until later this year.


Read here for a full list of sporting events that have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

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