The Tokyo Olympics have been offi cially postponed until 2021. The International Olympic Committee, along with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and local organisers, announced Tuesday that the 2020 games will not go ahead as scheduled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The IOC said the games will be held “not later than summer 2021”, but they will still be called the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. A number of countries, including Canada and Australia, had said they would not attend the games, which were originally scheduled for July this year. Cayman’s Sport Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly last week stated that she was recommending that the Cayman Islands should not participate this summer.
Cayman Olympian swimmer Brett Fraser had already expressed his doubts that the 2020 Summer Olympics would go ahead, saying he thought it “highly unlikely” the games would proceed. Speaking to the Cayman Compass prior to the postponement announcement, Fraser said, “I’m closely monitoring the organisers’ decisions whether the event will proceed or be postponed. It seems likely that this summer’s Games will be pushed to a later date.”
He added, “Most athletes and supporting team members have had signifi cant disruptions to their training and preparations. Postponing the games may be best to preserve the competitive nature and excitement of the Olympics.”
Another Cayman Olympian, sprinter Kemar Hyman, said the decision to postpone the games was the right call. “I really think it was the best decision for everyone, to be honest,” said Hyman. “If you think about how many athletes are going to be there, how many spectators are coming to watch the meet, it would only be right to postpone it till next year.”
He added, “This pandemic has really stirred up a lot of fear in everyone. All the athletes that were training couldn’t even use facilities, they couldn’t really prepare, if they did go ahead and competed at the Olympics for this year. Countries were pulling out one by one and I think that put a lot of pressure on the IOC. Now everything is backed up because World Championships indoors and outdoors are also next year. So, I guess they will have to push them back, too.”
However, Hyman added that, although there will be no Olympics this year; he’s not slacking off on his training. “I will continue to train,” he said. “This isn’t an off year or a year where athletes can just relax. We still need to prepare for the Olympics and stay in shape, and stay at top peak for next year.”