Gold Medalist Reacts to Postponement of 2020 Olympics

The 2020 Olympics have now been postponed for a year. The International Olympic Committee had been facing mounting pressure to make this change, as Japan geared up to host the summer games for the first time since 1964. For reaction to this decision, Christiane speaks with IOC member Dick Pound and the greatest marathon runner in the world, Eliud Kipchoge.

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CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Just tell me what this means to you that these Games have been postponed.

ELIUD KIPCHOGE, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDAL WINNER: It’s certainly disappointing. But many athletes have been preparing. Personally, I have been preparing for a very long time to participate in Tokyo Olympics. But all in all, I support what IOC and Japanese Federation have decided. Health is first, and I’m happy that they consider the health as number one priority as far as athletics is concerned and all sport.

AMANPOUR: And, Eliud, this disease has not yet struck your continent, thank God, the way it’s struck the Northern Hemisphere. It might do. But how are you adapting? How are you, your family, your community in Kenya dealing with this right now?

KIPCHOGE: It’s really hard. (INAUDIBLE) is telling everybody to stay at home, to stay indoors. Personally, I’m posting some messages encouraging everybody to stay at home, avoid big groups, and not actually mingle, try to wash your hands every now and then. But all in all, they will stay away and stay at home in order to prevent this COVID-19.

AMANPOUR: Yes, we will be back to you in a moment about sports, but we’re just showing that public service announcement that you’re talking about. I’d like to move on quickly to Dick Pound.bYou are the cold face of all of this. What went into that decision? Was it the right decision?

DICK POUND, INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE MEMBER: I think it was the right decision, in fact, probably the only sensible decision in the circumstances. We didn’t want to cancel the Games. But we also were beginning to realize, on the basis of the information provided by the World Health Organization, that July 24 of this year was just not going to be possible, and that we were going to have to think of postponement. The Japanese authorities came to roughly the same conclusion. And, today, the respective presidents of the government and the IOC agreed that there should be a postponement. The broad lines of that will have to be worked out, but, most likely, we’re looking at a delay of about a year, and it’s having Games in July-August of 2021.

About This Episode EXPAND

Dr. Boris Lushniak gives the latest news on the coronavirus pandemic. Jay Carney, senior vice president of global corporate affairs at Amazon, explains how the company is approaching the crisis. Dick Pound and Eliud Kipchoge react to the postponement of the 2020 Olympics. Tufts University President Anthony Monaco explains how the school has transformed parts of its campus into a hospital.