The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo could likely be postponed, Dick Pound, International Olympic Committee member, told USA Today.
“The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” Pound said in a phone interview.
This comes just one day after the IOC gave itself a four-week deadline to determine whether the games will go on in 2020 or at a later date because of the coronavirus pandemic. The committee has ruled out canceling the Olympics.
Canada was the first country to back out of the games Sunday, and Australia followed soon after on Monday in an effort to prioritize the health of the public and athletes.
The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee released a statement Monday evening, urging the IOC to postpone the Games.
USA Swimming had originally called for a one-year postponement on Friday and were soon joined by USA Track and Field.
Many current players and alumni of the Movin’ Mavs teams were set to compete in their first Paralympics come summer. For graduate student Darlene Hunter, the 2020 Paralympic Games were going to be her final performance before retiring from the sport.
Hunter represents Team USA, freshman Elodie Tessier represents Canada, and senior Clarence McCarthy-Grogan and sophomore Annabelle Lindsay represent Australia. Senior Fabian Romo was set to compete for a roster spot with Team USA in May.
When Canada backed out of the games, Tessier said it was hard to digest, but she agreed with the decision.
After four years of training, Tessier didn’t expect it would end this way. The same is true for her freshman season with the Lady Movin’ Mavs, which also ended abruptly after the 2020 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was canceled.
“It’s not just us, it’s the entire world,” Tessier said. “There’s anxiety. It’s sad, it’s frustrating at the same time, but it’s everyone. It’s not just us. It’s being solid, safe and healthy, and I think that’s the best.”