Athletes respond to Tokyo 2020 postponement

24 Mar 2020

British Swimming athletes have been reacting to the news that the Tokyo 2020 organising committee have decided to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The decision, which British Swimming, TeamGB, ParalympicsGB and UK Sport have welcomed, has been made in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which continues to affect countries across the globe. 

Adam Peaty was preparing to defend his Men's 100m Breaststroke Olympic title - but he too has welcomed the announcement in the current context. He said: "I don't think any of us are surprised following the announcement that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed for one year. It's the right decision and the only one that could be made at this point.

"As an athlete, I am obviously extremely disappointed, but this is more important and bigger than me or any of the athletes that would have been taking part. This is a matter of life or death and we all need to do the right thing. Now I know I can focus on the here and now and, as soon as it is safe to do so, continue with my training and ultimate goal to represent my country at the Olympic Games. It will happen and, when it does, we will all be stronger and be able to celebrate what is an extraordinary worldwide event together. 

"Thank you to everyone who has shown me so much support and thank you to everyone who is out there providing essential services and care at such a challenging time for us all. Stay home and stay safe, we are all in this together." 

Tom Daley, who has featured at the last three Olympics, medalling at London 2012 and Rio 2016, said on Instagram: "Waiting one more year to reach for our dreams is well worth the sacrifice to help keep people safe. Yes, I’ll be another year older, and my body will feel that, but I promise to work my tail off to make TeamGB as proud as I can when the time comes!"

Three-time Paralympic champion Ollie Hynd has also given his thoughts on the postponement, saying: "So it's official, the Tokyo 2020 Games will be postponed until 2021. Undoubtedly the correct decision and something I believe every athlete around the world feels is for the best.

Below are some more sentiments from our athletes, including from Hannah Russell, who won gold in the Women's S12 50m Freestyle and S12 100m Backstroke at Rio 2016. 

Hannah Russell Tokyo 2020 postponement tweet
Siobhan-Marie O'Connor Tokyo 2020 postponement post
Alice Tai Tokyo 2020 postponement tweet
Suzanna Hext Tokyo 2020 postponement post
Grace Harvey Tokyo 2020 postponement post