Coronavirus: Olympic power brokers react to Tokyo Games historic postponement

After weeks of speculation and pressure from outside, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has finally decided to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Games.

The global outbreak of COVID-19 has become too widespread to contain and inserting thousands of athletes into one central part of the world became a logistical nightmare.

Here are some reactions to that momentous decision from some of the biggest power brokers in Olympic officialdom.

Thomas Bach
Thomas Bach Photo credit: Getty

IOC president Thomas Bach:

"This Olympic flame will be the light at the end of the tunnel."

International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons:

"Postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do.

"The health and wellbeing of human life must always be our No.1 priority and staging a sporting event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.

"Sport is not the most important thing right now, preserving human life is."

US Olympic and Paralympic chief executive Sarah Hirshland:

"Despite the feeling of eventuality that so many of us have felt in the lead up to this moment, my heart breaks for you, your fellow athletes around the world, our friends at Tokyo 2020, the people of Japan, and all who are impacted by this global pandemic and the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games 2020.

"This summer was supposed to be a culmination of your hard work and life's dream, but taking a step back from competition to care for our communities and each other is the right thing to do. Your moment will wait until we can gather again safely."

Coronavirus: Olympic power brokers react to Tokyo Games historic postponement

Andy Anson, British Olympic Association chief executive:

"It is with profound sadness that we accept the postponement, but in all consciousness, it is the only decision we can support, in light of the devastating impact COVID-19.

"It is time for them to stop thinking about Tokyo 2020 for now, and be home and safe with their families."

Alejandro Blanco, president of the Spanish Olympic Committee:

"The IOC has given us some good news by announcing that the Olympic Games will be postponed. It will allow all athletes to be able to compete in equal conditions and will safeguard their health, just as we have been demanding since this crisis began."

Alfons Hormann, president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation:

"It confirms to the world population that everything in sports is also being done to bring the global pandemic under control as best as possible and as soon as possible."

Russian Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin:

"We respect this joint decision by the IOC and the leadership of Japan. In these difficult times, the health of the athletes, organisers, representatives of all countries and IOC members is at the forefront.

We will set up our cooperation on the training process with national federations."