Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has thrown her weight behind her country’s decision to postpone Tokyo 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that has affected sporting events around the globe.
Tokyo Olympics have been postponed to no later than the summer of 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, the International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday.
The Games were scheduled for July 24-August 9, but after telephone discussions between IOC president Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a historic joint decision was taken for the first postponement of an Olympics in peacetime.
Two-time Grand Slam champion Osaka, who was likely to be one of the faces of the event, has now weighed in on the decision, saying that the focus now is on saving lives around the world.
Here’s the message that she posted on social media:
“I’ve been thinking about how to articulate my thoughts on this for a couple of days now, so here goes. Everyone knows how much the Olympics means to me and how proud I will be to participate in my home country. Of course, I am disappointed that it won’t happen this year, but we’ll all be ready to go stronger than ever in 2021! I support Prime Minister Abe’s brave decision and the IOC 100%.
Sport will eventually unite us again and be there for us always, but that time is not now. This is the time for people from all countries, backgrounds and races to rally together to save as many lives as we can.
To me, that is the Olympic spirit. To the people of Japan: stay strong, hang in there, and let’s show the world our beautiful country when the time is right in 2021. Stay safe everyone, take care of each other, be kind and we will make it through.