The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, has released the following statement on the postponement of the Olympic Games.

The coronavirus, which has killed over 22,000 people worldwide, caused many qualifying events to be postponed or cancelled in the last two months. Some athletes are unable to train due to the containment measures in their country.

Minister’s Statement

“We have received confirmation from the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government that the Tokyo Olympics have been postponed. We accept this decision, and we think it is a good move.

For one thing, it provides well-needed clarity for our athletes.

It is difficult to prepare for international competition in the best of times, so we can imagine how much more difficult it has been for them during this time of uncertainty.

We committed to provide stipends for athletes while they train for the Games under the Athlete Assistance Programme. We will pay the sums up to the end of March as our athletes put their training programmes on hold.

I know the disappointment that athletes feel, but I know they understand the reasons for the postponement.

We look forward to them resuming training and representing Jamaica with distinction when it is safe to do so. At that time, the Games will also be a celebration of humanity’s triumph over this virus.

In the meantime, I encourage our athletes to take steps to keep themselves safe by practising social distancing and washing their hands regularly with soap and water.”

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