Posted on Wednesday 25th March, 2020

Paralympics New Zealand (PNZ) supports the decision made by the IOC overnight to postpone the Paralympic and Olympic Games until 2021.

Fiona Allan (Chief Executive, PNZ) said: “Para athletes were surveyed yesterday and we received overwhelming feedback that the decision to postpone was critical and an early decision was required to prioritise the wellbeing of all athletes within New Zealand and around the world.”

She continued: “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.”

PNZ will now work with Para athletes, their coaches and support teams and our key stakeholders within the New Zealand Para sport community to support their needs and their plans for the future.

Allan said: “We thank the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organising committee, supported by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) for making this decision and listening to Para athletes worldwide. We will now focus on the safety and health of the Paralympic Movement in New Zealand and will continue to work closely with the IPC to support the development of next year’s Paralympic Games.”

Andrew Parsons (Chair, IPC) stated this morning that “postponing the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak is absolutely the right thing to do. The health and well-being of human life must always be our number one priority and staging a sport event of any kind during this pandemic is simply not possible.”