Breaking News - The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be postponed until 2021. The Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe announced the move today after huge pressure on the IOC and Japan to make a firm decision. The joint statement from the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and the organizers of Tokyo 2020 was just made.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, "I proposed to postpone for a year and president Thomas Bach responded with 100% agreement". This of course means Olympics Climbing will not make it's debut this year. This also means postponing the Paralympic Games due to take place at the same time. Further details to come.
This comes after the IOC only days ago set a four week deadline to decide on a postponement or cancellation. Team Canada as well as the Australian Olympic Committee announced they would not send athletes to compete without a delay. Team GB also talked of taking the same stance. A postponement or large change was expected to come after IOC member Dick Pound warned just yesterday this would most likely be the move made.
Countries like Spain, Italy, and the UK have all announced complete lock downs. Citizens may not leave their house apart from for specific activities and essential work. The World Health Organization is giving regular updates and advice on the COVID-19 disease. Their director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus advised the acceleration of the virus meant that the pandemic needed to be taken completely seriously.
With over 395,000 cases and over 17,000 deaths worldwide, this virus is unprecedented in modern times. In the climbing community many were initially heading outdoors. After crowding at crags, accidents that added more work to already stressed health services, and queues on top of famous hiking spots - many reacted angrily.
As a community it seems most climbers agreed in the past few days that traveling to non-local areas was a no-go. Then the mindset changed to even leaving the house was being selfish. Moab, Yosemite, and Bishop are all either mandated as closed or heavily monitored by locals. Even Miguel's Pizza in Red River Gorge is closed.
Many climbing walls are now closing voluntarily or by forced local governance. The situation for indoor climbing walls is going to be tough in a few weeks. In the UK the main website for crag maps UKC closed off any new ascents being ticked in it's logbook.
You can follow the latest news on our instagram page or browse through our Olympics Climbing news to see what was due to take place. Outdoors retailers are also having some huge climbing sales right now as business is massively affected.