A decision has been made by the IOC to postpone the Summer Olympic Games to 2021, considering the current global crisis.
“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 full statement is available here: https://www.olympic.org/news/joint-statement-from-the-international-olympic-committee-and-the-tokyo-2020-organising-committee
The Olympic Federation of Ireland have welcomed the call while also acknowledging the complexities involved in postponing the Games. Their focus remains on “protecting and safeguarding the Irish athletes over the coming months and ensuring that they can bounce back to full training and be in peak condition for a successful Games in 2021.” The full statement can be found at: https://olympics.ie/news/19149-confirmed-olympic-games-to-be-postponed-to-2021.html
Head Coach of the Irish Women’s team, Sean Dancer had the following to say on the postponement of the Tokyo Games, “We really appreciate the tough decisions all parties involved have had to make in recent weeks. The decision to postpone the Games not only puts athlete’s welfare first, but also the welfare of much wider communities and countries. These are unprecedented times, and while incredibly stressful for so many, the decision to postpone the Games is one we support.
Our athletes are continuing to train as much as possible given the current circumstances, and we really look forward to being able to train together as a group again when it is appropriate to do so.”
Speaking on the decision, Katie Mullan, Captain of the Irish Women’s team said “As players we are gutted with the announcement to postpone the games as our excitement has been building, however we totally understand why this decision has been made. What matters most is players health and wellbeing, as well as our families and friends, and we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy at this difficult time.
As a team it has been strange doing so much individual training, but everyone has been pushing on with home-gym programmes and trying to increase their fitness with running and cycling. This is a big change for so many people, but everyone is the same situation. We’ll be doing our best to use this as an opportunity.”
In addition to these comments, High Performance Director, Adam Grainger added, “that Hockey Ireland support the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and TOCOG (Tokyo Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) in this decision making, and can appreciate how hard the postponement decision would have been to make.
Hockey Ireland also understands how difficult this postponement must have been for the Japanese people, with our local hosts Iwate town for example having already invested so much time and effort into successfully hosting Hockey Ireland. Our Senior Women’s team are committed to travelling to Iwate town in 2021 and working with the OFI, Sport Ireland, Sport NI and our sponsors to ensure the best preparation possible for our players and staff.”