President Trump congratulated Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee for their “very wise decision” to reschedule the summer olympics to 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“Congratulations to Prime Minister Abe of Japan, and the IOC, and their very wise decision to present the Olympics in 2021,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “It will be a great success and I look forward to being there!”
The president’s tweet comes after Abe announced the change Tuesday.
Abe said that he and IOC President Thomas Bach came to an agreement to postpone the Summer 2020 games, which were slated to begin on July 24, and that they will instead take place next summer in Japan.
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC and Abe said in a joint statement.
“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” they continued. “Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
The decision comes as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of midday Wednesday, there were more than 448,000 positive cases around the world. More than 19,675 people have died from the coronavirus.
The Olympics have been canceled before — once in 1916, due to World War I, and again in 1940 and 1944.
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos and The Associated Press contributed to this report.