PART QUALITY AS INCOMING
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONSISTS OF SOUNDBITES FROM VARIOUS ATHLETES AROUND THE WORLD. PLEASE REFER TO FOLLOWING EDITS FOR ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE AND BROLL:
UNKNOWN LOCATION, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 24, 2020) (BRITISH SWIMMING - ACCESS ALL)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S 100-METRE OLYMPIC BREASTSTROKE CHAMPION, ADAM PEATY, SAYING:
"Yes I mean with the IOC decision I think a lot of athletes can now kind of breath. We felt under pressure to train, we felt under pressure to compete because obviously the Olympics is a few months away and we need to obviously kind of train ourselves and not de-train and some athletes would go into those facilities and put other people at risk."
2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S 100M OLYMPIC BREASTSTROKE CHAMPION, ADAM PEATY, SAYING:
"So having that kind of decision from the IOC has lift that kind of release that we don't need to be in shape in the summer and we don't need to put that kind of unnecessary risk on other people and we can save those resources for the NHS for people who really need them as well."
3. WHITE FLASH
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S 100-METRE OLYMPIC BREASTSTROKE CHAMPION, ADAM PEATY, SAYING:
"A little bit of frustration but completely understand. You know, for me I'm not going to go out there and 'oh you (the IOC) took so long and now I'm angry' but because these the Games, the Olympic Games is the biggest sporting event on the planet and it costs tens of billions of pounds to hold, everyone knows that. So when you're talking about shifting it a few months away and the Japanese have worked incredibly hard on getting all of their facilities done before, you know, way before the Tokyo Olympics. It's a big ask to say can you leave it another year. It will cost money, it will cost people's jobs and it is has such a kind of domino effect on individual contracts with athletes and everything is like this but I think we've got to work together now - the companies that are involved, the athletes that are involved - and kind of spread a positivity that this is for the better of not just a nation but better of the world, for humanity. And we want to put on a show in 2021 where we don't feel guilty for performing and we can hopefully inspire people to kind of do better and be better if that makes sense."
5. WHITE FLASH
6. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S 100-METRE OLYMPIC BREASTSTROKE CHAMPION, ADAM PEATY, SAYING:
"I think we've got to get through this period without thinking about sport. I think this is a very good time to kind of focus your energy on something else or other people."
7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITAIN'S 100-METRE OLYMPIC BREASTSTROKE CHAMPION, ADAM PEATY, SAYING:
"For me, I'm just going to just do something a little bit different I guess. A little bit of cycling, on the turbo trainer, have a kind of gym built in the house so I can still keep all my physical fitness and yes I think we'll make it work, athletes make it work and we're adaptable so this is a good test of who you are as a character, who you are as an athlete and ready to rise to that test and hopefully come out on top."
SAO JOSE DOS CAMPOS, BRAZIL (MARCH 24, 2020) (PAMELA ROSA, - MUST COURTESY "PAMELA ROSA". NO RESALE)
8. (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) WORLD NUMBER ONE WOMEN'S SKATEBOARDER, PAMELA ROSA, SAYING:
"Hi folks, I am Pamela Rosa, and I'm here to talk to you a bit about the postponement of the Olympics. I think it was the best decision to be taken, to delay them until 2021. Right now we need to think collectively, think about the moment. This is where we are at right now. We need to stay at home, lock ourselves up. Think collectively, all of us. Because this isn't easy. We are going through a very difficult time. This coronavirus is not something that is easy to handle. I am training at home, with my online trainer so I am very worried about it, so let's help others. So together with the CBSK (the Brazilian Skateboarding confederation) who have given us their total support, and we are very pleased with that. And we're a bit sad that the coronavirus has led to the cancellation of the Olympics. And so we pray and ask God that this passes and that we can get back on our boards and skate and enjoy ourselves again. So we'll see you all again in 2021. Let's keep going, I know this will all pass, God willing."
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
9. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAZILIAN SKATEBOARDER, LETICIA BUFONI, SAYING:
"I think everyone is really excited that skateboarding is going to be in the Olympics for the first time but everything happens for a reason. I think they made a great decision to move to next year and now we're going to have more time to train. I think it's good."
10. WHITE FLASH
11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRAZILIAN SKATEBOARDER, LETICIA BUFONI, SAYING:
"My heart hurts a little bit because I really wanted to go to Tokyo but in the same time it gives me more, how can I say, more comfortable you know. Like I can breath for a little bit and chill and work on new tricks and not worry so much about competition, about making the team so I think now we're going to reset and then start over again, everything again."
CALGARY, ALBERTA, CANADA (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
12. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADA'S 75-KILOGRAM OLYMPIC WRESTLING CHAMPION, ERICA WIEBE, SAYING:
"Yes, it's been a whirlwind. The Canadian athletes were informed about two hours prior to the announcement going public that Canada would not be sending a team to the Olympic Games if they were to go forward in 2020. It was heartbreaking in the moment, but I also felt it was the right thing to do. We're in an unprecedented moment in time and there was so much stress and pressure on Canadian athletes to try and train and prepare and qualify amidst all the government regulations. And so by taking that approach, the Canadian Olympic Committee made the decision for the athletes and we supported it. This morning to see that the IOC responded and the IOC made the tough decision to postpone the Games, it is incredibly relieving for me. I think it's also a relief for athletes around the world who are trying reconcile getting into top shape when putting their communities and themselves at risk. By postponing for one year, we're able to manage this crisis and we're all able to contribute to taking care of this pandemic and doing the right thing."
13. WHITE FLASH
14. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CANADA'S 75-KILOGRAM OLYMPIC WRESTLING CHAMPION, ERICA WIEBE, SAYING:
"Yes I mean there's a lot of uncertainty right now. Last week all the facilities are closed and I was preparing to go to Tokyo having to have a very altered training plan already. Wrestling is a very physically-intimate sport and I was preparing to potentially not be able to wrestle but still have to compete at the Olympic Games. So now with the official announcement that it is postponed, every athlete's training plan is being altered. There is still a lot of uncertainties. We still don't have a start date for the Olympic Games, we still don't know when training facilities will be open, when we'll be able to fly internationally to do training camps and competitions."
LA JOLLA, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)
15. (SOUNDBITE) (English) INTERNATIONAL SUFRING ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT, FERNANDO AGUIRRE, SAYING:
"Listen, as a surfer you learn that sometimes the waves don't come when you want. The waves come when the waves come and you need to be ready. So we're ready for 2020 and we're ready for 2021 so I don't think it's... a lot of people wrote to me this morning almost like expressing condolences about the change of the dates. I said guys it's okay, it's fine, we're ready so an extra year is not going to do anything bad. If anything it's going to allow us to fine-tune it even more where we already fine-tuned as much as we could. So I think it's a wise decision, it's a decision that is a win-win for every party. Of course it would have been nice to do it this year on time but given the circumstances in which the world is going through it will be... I don't think anybody will perceive this as viable even a month form now. The decision would have been the same."
STORY: Athletes, national associations and sporting federations from around the world reacted with relief, sadness and mainly goodwill to the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games on Tuesday (March 24) because of the coronavirus pandemic.
After weeks of speculation and mounting criticism at the delay in announcing a postponement, Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach agreed the event would be rescheduled for the summer of 2021 at the latest.
It is the first break in the four-year cycle for the summer Olympics since the 1940 and 1944 Games were cancelled because of World War Two.
From Olympic champions such as British swimmer Adam Peaty to athletes from new sports like Brazilian skateboarder Pamela Rosa there was a general sense of relief that they would not have to compete given the pandemic.
There was also a tinge of sadness and frustration among the athletes but the overall feeling was that the decision made by the IOC was for the better.
(Production: Tim Hart)