Coronavirus Forces Delay of 2020 Olympics
VOA News｜Arts & Culture
March 24, 2020 08:23 PM (source)
Coronavirus Forces Delay of 2020 Olympics
March 24, 2020 08:23 PM
The 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo will be postponed until next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Tuesday.
Although the International Olympic Committee had said it would spend up to a month debating the matter, the decision to postpone became inevitable after several countries said they would not send athletes if the Games were held this summer.
"The IOC president and the prime minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020, but not later that summer 2021 to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community," the IOC and the Japanese organizing committee said in a joint statement Tuesday.
Both committees say they made their decision after consulting with the World Health Organization. Abe and the IOC had said that canceling the Games had always been out of the question.
"The Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present," the IOC said.
Abe told reporters in Tokyo that when the Games finally gets under way, it will prove that "humanity had beat the coronavirus."
The Summer Games were to have opened July 24.
Team USA, which represents triathlon and duathlon Olympic contenders, tweeted its thanks to the Tokyo organizers for what it says is "all you have done for a great Olympic and Paralympic Games. We wish you all the best as you keep your communities safe and offer our cooperation and support as you prepare to host the world."
The Olympics have been canceled three times since the modern Games began in 1896. They were scrapped in 1916 during World War I and in 1940 and 1944 during World War II.
The Games have been boycotted, propagandized by Nazi Germany, and attacked by terrorists, but have never before been postponed.
Japanese organizers said Tuesday they are also postponing the Olympic torch relay that was supposed to start Thursday.
The flame arrived in Japan from its traditional lighting in Greece on March 12. It was supposed to have traveled around Japan, to be used to light the flame at the opening ceremonies in Tokyo.
The torch will remain in Fukushima until the Games are firmly rescheduled.
日本首相(Prime Minister)安倍晉三（Shinzo Abe）於週二（編按：2020 年 3 月 24 日）宣布，即將在東京（Tokyo）舉辦的 2020 年夏季奧林匹克運動會（Summer Olympics，簡稱「夏季奧運」）因冠狀病毒(coronavirus，註 1 )流行病(pandemic，註 2)的影響，將延至明年（編按：2021 年）舉行。
儘管國際奧林匹克委員會（International Olympic Committee，簡稱「國際奧委會」）曾表示，會花上 1 個月的時間討論這項議題，但在數個國家表示奧運如果在今夏舉行，它們便不派選手參加比賽後，賽事延期即成為不可避免的(inevitable，註 3)決定。
國際奧委會和日本主辦單位於週二（編按：2020 年 3 月 24 日）發表共同聲明(joint statement)，表示「國際奧委會主席(president)和日本（Japan）首相達成協議，為維護(safeguard)運動員、參與賽事的全體人員以及國際團體的健康，奧運必須改期至 2020 年之後、但不晚於 2021 年夏季的時間進行。」
國際奧委會和日本主辦單位雙雙表示，它們是在與世界衛生組織（World Health Organization）商量(consult，註 4)過後才做出延賽的決定。安倍和國際奧委會形容，取消奧運一直以來都是不可能的(out of the question)選項。
「在這個動盪的時期，東京奧運或許能成為世界的希望之燈；在世界所處的現今，奧運聖火(Olympic flame)或許能成為人們望向隧道盡頭所見的曙光(light at the end of the tunnel)。」國際奧委會說道。
夏季奧運原定於 7 月 24 日揭開序幕。
美國奧委會（Team USA）代表鐵人三項和鐵人兩項奧運競爭者(contender)在推特向東京主辦單位發文致謝，感謝主辦方對「偉大的奧運和殘障奧林匹克運動會（Paralympic Games）所做的一切。我們在您維護日本安全之際祝您一切順利，並在您準備接待世界之時提供我們的配合與支持。」
現代奧運自 1896 年開始以來曾 3 度停辦。它在 1916 年第一次世界大戰（World War I）期間和 1940 年、1944 年第二次世界大戰（World War II）期間被取消(scrap，註 5)。
日本主辦單位於週二（編按：2020 年 3 月 24 日）表示，原定週四（編按：2020 年 3 月 26 日）開始的奧運火炬(torch)傳遞活動也將延期。 聖火在 3 月 12 日從希臘（Greece）的採集地出發，現已抵達日本。它原本應該在日本各地傳遞，並在東京奧運開幕式上點燃主火炬。
註 1：coronavirus 注意重音在第 2 音節
註 2：pandemic 於本文為名詞，意指「大流行病」；本字也可作形容詞，意指「大規模流行的，廣泛蔓延的」
註 3：inevitable 由表示「不，無，非」的字首 "in-" 與表示「可以避免的」的形容詞 "evitable" 組成；注意重音在第 2 音節
註 4：consult 於本文指「（同…）商量，（向…）徵求意見」；本字也常指「諮詢；請教；查閱」
註 5： scrap 於本文為動詞，意指「放棄；取消」；本字也可作名詞，意指「廢料，廢品」或「碎片，碎屑」
註 6： propagandize 為動詞；由表示「宣傳；鼓吹」的名詞 "propaganda" 與表示「使成為」的字尾 "-ize" 組成；注意重音在第 3 音節
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Check your comprehension!
Choose the BEST answer to each of the questions below. After you finish, highlight the parentheses to reveal the hidden answers.
1. ( C ) According to the article, what was a key element that led to the postponement of the Games?
(A) Athletes announced that they would not attend the Games if they were held this summer.
(B) Athletes petitioned for the Games to be moved to a later time.
(C) Some countries announced they would not let their athletes attend the Games if they were held this summer.
(D) Some countries petitioned for the Games to be moved to a later time.
2. ( A ) Why were the First and Second World War mentioned in the article?
(A) The Olympic Games were canceled during those times.
(B) The Olympic Games got postponed during those times.
(C) The Olympic Games gave people hope during those times.
(D) The Olympic Games brought people together during those times.
3. ( D ) According to the article, which of the following statements about the Olympic flame is INCORRECT?
(A) It was lit in Greece.
(B) It will light the flame at the opening ceremony.
(C) It traveled from Greece to Japan.
(D) It has left Fukushima, Japan.