Although Naomi Osaka, as the figurehead of the Olympic Games, is disappointed that the event has been postponed in Tokyo, the Japanese tennis star considers it the only right decision in the fight against the corona virus.
"Everyone knows how much the Olympics mean to me and how proud I was to represent my country. Of course I'm disappointed that the Games have been postponed, but we'll only get back stronger in 2021," Osaka wrote on Instagram on Saturday.
Osaka has final wins at the US Open and Australian Open. The 22-year-old tennis star has been at the center of many advertising campaigns for the Tokyo Games.
She agrees with the decision taken by the IOC and the Japanese government on Tuesday to postpone the event to an as yet unknown date in 2021. "I fully support the bold decision of our Prime Minister Shinzo Abe."
"Ultimately, the sport will reunite us. But the time has not yet come. Now people from all countries and all races must work together to save as many human lives as possible. That is the real Olympic idea," writes Osaka.
'We will show the world how beautiful Japan is in 2021'
She also has a message for the people of Japan: "Be strong and persist. When the time comes in 2021, we will show the world how beautiful this country is."
The IOC will presumably decide within a few weeks when the Olympic Games will be held. This will be in the summer of 2021 at the latest.
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The coronavirus in short
- The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
- You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
- An infected person infects two to three others on average. Precautions are necessary to contain this.
- The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
- Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
- Read here what precautions you should take.