Among the Olympians and Olympic hopefuls to react was American middle-distance runner Emma Coburn, who tweeted, "Our dreams aren’t cancelled, they are just postponed"

By Lindsay Kimble
March 24, 2020 12:31 PM
Harry How/Getty

Athletes that were set to or hoping to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are reacting after the games were officially postponed.

On Tuesday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced in a joint statement that the Summer Games would be postponed one year amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Though a specific date was not yet released, the statement said that the games would be “rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”

Among the Olympians and Olympic hopefuls to react was American middle-distance runner Emma Coburn, who tweeted, “Our dreams aren’t cancelled, they are just postponed. Looking forward to dreams coming true for athletes everywhere in 2021.”

Wrote Olympic water polo player Kaleigh Gilchrist, simply, “Same dream, different date.”

RELATED: 2020 Tokyo Olympics Have Been Postponed to 2021, Japanese Prime Minister Confirms

In a letter sent to athletes by the U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Sarah Hirshland on Tuesday, she wrote of the postponement, “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.”

“The excellence within Team USA is our resilience and how we overcome adversity. I have no doubt we will get through this together as a team, and all be better because of it,” she said.

IOC member Dick Pound initially confirmed the postponement news to USA Today on Monday.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,” Pound explained. “The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.”

The decision also came after several countries said they would not send athletes to Tokyo unless the games were postponed in order to not risk their health, including Canada and Australia.

RELATED: 2020 Tokyo Olympics Postponed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic, IOC Member Says

As of Tuesday, at least 16,890 people have died from coronavirus, and it has been detected in at least 166 countries. It has infected more than 382,000 people, the New York Times said.

Advertisement