18:38 GMT04 December 2020
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    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)
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    Officials with USA Swimming have issued a statement urging the US Olympic & Paralympic Committee to back the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, in light of the ongoing global COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.

    The letter, signed by USA Swimming Chief Executive Officer Tim Hinchey III, highlighted that the health and safety of the organization's athletes, staff, coaches, volunteers and other members is paramount. 

    "As this global pandemic has grown, we have watched our athletes' worlds be turned upside down and watched them struggle to find ways to prepare and train - many for the biggest competitive opportunity of their lives," he said.

    Despite the fact that the World Health Organization has labeled the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, there has been no announcement made by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding intentions to reschedule the games. However, the Hellenic Olympic Committee scrapped the traditional Olympic torch relay events earlier this week and opted for a notably scaled-down event to pass the flame to Tokyo's Olympic organizers. 

    It was initially reported that the IOC would make an announcement regarding the games' status in May. More recently, the Associated Press reported that John Coates, an IOC vice president and head of the Australian Olympic Committee, rejected the existence of a deadline or time frame for the committee to issue a statement. 

    Speaking to parliamentary committee members on Wednesday, Japanese Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso contended that the COVID-19 pandemic's alignment with the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was proof that the games are historically "cursed" in the country. 

    “It’s a problem that’s happened every 40 years – it’s the cursed Olympics, and that’s a fact,” he said on March 18, as reported by The Guardian

    As of this article's publication, there are 266,082 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering. While an estimated 87,363 individuals have recovered from the contagious disease, at least 11,153 people have died from COVID-19. 

    Topic:
    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)

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    IOC, athletes, swimming, Tokyo, Japan, 2020 Olympics, Summer Olympics, public health, health, coronavirus, COVID-19
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