HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Today in an unprecedented but necessary move by the International Olympic Committee, president Thomas Bach announced the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are postponed until 2021.
The decision comes amid a swell of positive COVID-19 cases around the world.
Today marked the first time in modern Olympic history that a global health issue has disrupted the games.
Bach came to an agreement with postponing the games with the Japanese government.
“To make a contribution to the containment of the coronavirus we agreed to postpone the Olympic Games,” said Bach. “In order to safe guard the health of the athletes and everybody involved in the Olympic Games.”
The Olympics, for now will take place in either the summer or spring of 2021 and will still be held in Tokyo.
New sports such as surfing and skating were set to make their Olympic debuts in this year’s games.
Notable local athletes that were scheduled to compete included surfers John John Florence, Carissa Moore, along with skateboarder Heimana Reynolds.
In a statement, Reynolds said “I still have my goals set on being in Tokyo for the Olympics." "I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during this time.”
Hawaii residents who were planning to make the trip to Japan for the games are now left scrambling.
Larissa Nordyke and five of her friends had airfare and tickets already booked for the Tokyo games.
“We are in the process right now of trying to get things refunded,” said Nordyke. “We haven’t heard anything back yet.”
Despite the games postponement, IOC president Thomas Bach is hoping the Olympic flame still serves as a source of motivation through these uncertain times.
“We want this Olympic flame to be a light at the end of the tunnel," said Bach.