- Title: Athletes relieved that Tokyo 2020 Games is postponed
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAZILIAN SKATEBOARDER, LETICIA BUFONI, SAYING: "I think everyone is really excited that skateboarding is going to be in the Olympics for the first time but everything happens for a reason. I think they made a great decision to move to next year and now we're going to have more time to train. I think it's good." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAZILIAN SKATEBOARDER, LETICIA BUFONI, SAYING: "My heart hurts a little bit because I really wanted to go to Tokyo but in the same time it gives me more, how can I say, more comfortable you know. Like I can breath for a little bit and chill and work on new tricks and not worry so much about competition, about making the team so I think now we're going to reset and then start over again, everything again." CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADA'S 75-KILOGRAM OLYMPIC WRESTLING CHAMPION, ERICA WIEBE, SAYING: "Yes, it's been a whirlwind. The Canadian athletes were informed about two hours prior to the announcement going public that Canada would not be sending a team to the Olympic Games if they were to go forward in 2020. It was heartbreaking in the moment, but I also felt it was the right thing to do. We're in an unprecedented moment in time and there was so much stress and pressure on Canadian athletes to try and train and prepare and qualify amidst all the government regulations. And so by taking that approach, the Canadian Olympic Committee made the decision for the athletes and we supported it. This morning to see that the IOC responded and the IOC made the tough decision to postpone the Games, it is incredibly relieving for me. I think it's also a relief for athletes around the world who are trying reconcile getting into top shape when putting their communities and themselves at risk. By postponing for one year, we're able to manage this crisis and we're all able to contribute to taking care of this pandemic and doing the right thing." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADA'S 75-KILOGRAM OLYMPIC WRESTLING CHAMPION, ERICA WIEBE, SAYING: "Yes I mean there's a lot of uncertainty right now. Last week all the facilities are closed and I was preparing to go to Tokyo having to have a very altered training plan already. Wrestling is a very physically-intimate sport and I was preparing to potentially not be able to wrestle but still have to compete at the Olympic Games. So now with the official announcement that it is postponed, every athlete's training plan is being altered. There is still a lot of uncertainties. We still don't have a start date for the Olympic Games, we still don't know when training facilities will be open, when we'll be able to fly internationally to do training camps and competitions." LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL SUFRING ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, FERNANDO AGUIRRE, SAYING: "Listen, as a surfer you learn that sometimes the waves don't come when you want. The waves come when the waves come and you need to be ready. So we're ready for 2020 and we're ready for 2021 so I don't think it's... a lot of people wrote to me this morning almost like expressing condolences about the change of the dates. I said guys it's okay, it's fine, we're ready so an extra year is not going to do anything bad. If anything it's going to allow us to fine-tune it even more where we already fine-tuned as much as we could. So I think it's a wise decision, it's a decision that is a win-win for every party. Of course it would have been nice to do it this year on time but given the circumstances in which the world is going through it will be... I don't think anybody will perceive this as viable even a month form now. The decision would have been the same."
- Keywords: Adam Peaty Erica Wiebe Fernando Aguerre Leticia Bufoni Pamela Rosa Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games coronavirus covid-19
- Reuters ID: LVA003C6EXI6F
- Location: VARIOUS
- City: VARIOUS
- Country: Various
- Duration: 00:03:48
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Olympics,Sport
- Story Text: PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONSISTS OF SOUNDBITES FROM VARIOUS ATHLETES AROUND THE WORLD. PLEASE REFER TO FOLLOWING EDITS FOR ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE AND BROLL:
Athletes, national associations and sporting federations from around the world reacted with relief, sadness and mainly goodwill to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday (March 24) because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After weeks of speculation and mounting criticism at the delay in announcing a postponement, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach agreed the event would be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest.
It is the first break in the four-year cycle for the summer Olympics since the 1940 and 1944 Games were cancelled because of World War Two.
From Olympic champions such as British swimmer Adam Peaty to athletes from new sports like Brazilian skateboarder Pamela Rosa there was a general sense of relief that they would not have to compete given the pandemic.
There was also a tinge of sadness and frustration among the athletes but the overall feeling was that the decision made by the IOC was for the better.
(Production: Tim Hart)
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