While speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump proposed pushing the 2020 Summer Olympics back one year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Olympics are schedule to be hosted by Japan this summer.
“I just can’t see having no people there. In other words, not allowing people,” Trump said on Thursday. “Maybe, and this is just my idea, maybe they postpone it for a year.”
However, Japan’s Olympic Minister, Seiko Hashimoto, shot down that idea.
“The IOC and the organizing committee are not considering cancellation or a postponement — absolutely not at all,” Hashimoto said, according to USA TODAY.
Hasimoto, an Olympic bronze medalist in speed skating, had previously floated the idea that Tokyo could host the Olympics later in the year, if necessary.
But contracts stipulate that the games must be held during the 2020 calendar year. At this point, the IOC has no plans to delay the Olympics, which are scheduled to begin on July 24.
“As best we can — so athletes will have no confusion or uncertainty — we will put in our maximum effort,” Hashimoto said.
The Olympic flame was lit, as scheduled, on Thursday in Greece. The flame is expected to arrive in Japan on March 20, where it will travel the country for four months prior to the start of the games. There is a chance crowds for the relay will be limited.
The Summer Olympics are one of the few sporting events that have not yet altered their schedule due to the outbreak of the coronavirus. Within the United States alone, the MLB, NHL, NBA and NCAA have all suspended or canceled play.
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