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Norway withdraw from Tokyo 2020 Olympics unless postponed or moved

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

15:56 23 Mar 2020

Norway have become the latest nation confirming they will not send athletes to the summer games in Tokyo this summer should it go ahead as scheduled.

Norway's sports president(guessing minister, no thanks to Google translate) Berit Kjøll and Minister of Culture Abid Raja at a press conference picked up by Norwegian station TV2 on Monday afternoon.

The Sports minister confirmed Norway have written tot he IOC.

"I would like to see that the IOC had made the decision to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. On Friday we sent a letter expressing concern about the situation," says Kjøll.

"My clear advice to the Sports Board is that we ask that no Norwegian athletes be sent to Tokyo in 2020," she continues.

"I support Berit's decision not to send practitioners in full," says Raja.

The Council must be approved by the Sports Board.

"It would be unmusical (we'll go with tone-deaf here, thanks to google translate) not to postpone the Olympics," says Kjøll.

"NIF requests that a new date be found. Whether in late 2020 or in 2021. We want the sport to flourish, but life and health are the first priority. We have no record of the pandemic,” says Raja.

"In that situation, it will not be fair or solid to let the Olympics go this summer.

"I think the IOC has done a really bad job. They should make that decision themselves. 

"They have not. That is why NIF has now made this decision. Canada and Australia have done the same."

Decision

Kjøll says that Norway was the first country to send a letter to the IOC with a message to postpone this summer's toys.

"I feel that the IOC has worked seriously and properly, but I had wished that they had already made a decision to postpone, says Kjøll.

The minister has been criticised in the media in recent days and responded

"I don't like being called weak or cowardly. It's not something that characterizes me. I feel that we have had a solid, thorough and responsible process," she answers in cash.

Kristian Blummenfelt, one of Norway's medal hopefuls in triathlon, says he understands Norway's decision.

"It seems reasonable really. All the major nations say they must postpone it. Canada said it well yesterday, so it's the snowball that's starting to roll.

"We had a skype meeting today early for training planning ahead where we actually decided to go back a bit.

"There is no point in being ready for training in two weeks when it may be five-to-six months until we compete.

"That's why we're back to where we were in October."

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