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NZOC, PNZ and Kiwi athletes support Tokyo Olympics postponement

New Zealand parties affected by the overnight announcement of the Olympics and Paralympics being postponed until next year have overwhelmingly voiced their support for the news.

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Japan’s Prime Minister said the games will be held in 2021 as proof of victory over the global coronavirus outbreak. Source: 1 NEWS

The IOC and event organisers announced early this morning this year's Tokyo Games will be moved to next year due to the coronavirus pandemic currently facing the world - a decision they took a stubbornly long time making despite a growing number of voices calling for it earlier.

Regardless, the decision has been finalised and both the New Zealand Olympic Committee and Paralympics New Zealand announced this morning they support it. 

"New Zealand athletes were surveyed yesterday and told us they were ready to support this extremely tough decision," NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith said. 

"We know they are adaptable and resilient, and they understand that this decision is necessary to ensure a fair field of play and protect the health of both athletes and the wider global." 

Chief executive of PNZ, Fiona Allan, added para athletes were surveyed yesterday as well and we the feedback was much the same.

"We know that Para athletes will see IOC’s decision as one that provides certainty and, in the future, will provide a safe, and fair playing field to train and compete in.

"The Paralympic Movement is built on resilience and determination and we know Para athletes will draw upon this at this time."

Around the country, numerous Kiwi athletes also added their own praise and thoughts on the announcement.

Two-time gold medallist Lisa Carrington was one of the first to comment, asking others to "be kind" as New Zealand heads into a four-week lockdown.

"I will be training as best to my ability over the next month in isolation along with many other athletes," Carrington said on social media.

"We are now going into a new normal, so please look after everyone."

Rio bronze medallist Eliza McCartney thanked both the IOC and organisers for "listening to the athletes and putting peoples health above all".

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"The Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know," an IOC member said today. Source: 1 NEWS

"I’ll still be training at home in lockdown - hopefully I can get my family into some circuit training. It will be my first winter at home since 2012!"

Kiwi sailing stars Peter Burling and Blair Tuke also supported the decision.

"The health of our community & team is the most important focus and right now, we are committed to staying home along with the rest of our country," Burling wrote on social media.

"We look forward to representing NZ again when we are all through the other side."

The IOC said it plans to hold the Tokyo Olympics next year during Japan's summer.