As the world continues to panic about coronavirus, the International Olympic Committee brings us some good news. Today, during a press briefing, IOC spokesperson Mark Adams confirmed that this year’s games scheduled to take place in Tokyo starting July 24 will continue as scheduled. Pandemic be damned! Adams claims that the IOC has been in contact with the World Health Organization and that they’ve not given any advice to cancel or postpone the games. Prior to this announcement, several Olympic qualifying events had been moved or canceled altogether in an effort to contain the virus. Boxing qualifiers for the Asian and Oceanic regions were canceled and a qualifying tournament for four women’s soccer teams was moved from Wuhan to Australia.
If the coronavirus is still raging in July, non-sporting events like the opening ceremony or press meetings could be completely derailed. It’s hard to imagine any of the thousands of athletes that will make it to the Olympics getting excited to walk in the Parade of Nations while also keeping their eyes peeled for anyone coughing with their mouth wide open. Either way, the countdown to Tokyo 2020 begins. Celebrate this momentous announcement by washing your hands for upwards of 20 seconds while singing your country’s national anthem.