CANCELLATION of this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games, due to be held in Tokyo, has come as a big blow to thousands of
athletes who have been in training but they have welcomed the news that they will be held in 2021.
The philosophical viewpoint of Paralympian sprinter Libby Clegg was simply: “Same goals, new dates … Tokyo 2021.”
Libby, who has family in Langholm and Newcastleton, resumed training after having her baby, Edward, a year ago, with the Paralympics as her main target.
She has already won silver and gold medals at Beijing 2008, London 2012 and Rio 2016 in 100m and 200m races and is now aiming for her fourth games.
Libby is registered blind and her appearance in Dancing On Ice earlier this year was much celebrated and she made the final with two other couples.
The Tokyo Olympic Games will now start on July 23, 2021 and run to August 8.
The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on August 24, 2020, will now take place between August 24 and September 5, 2021.
Andrew Parsons, International Paralympic Committee president, said: “When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport.
“With the games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”
The decision to postpone both events was taken to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.
The new dates also took into consideration the rest of the global sports calendar.
The World Athletics Championships, originally set to take place in Oregon, USA, between August 6 and August 15, 2021, will be postponed until 2022.
If that is moved back exactly a year, it would clash with the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham which is set to take place between July 27 and August 7.