Chirstchurch: New Zealand Olympic Committee and the athletes of the country on Tuesday joined the growing chorus seeking postponement of the Tokyo Games in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created an upheaval worldwide.
Canada and Australia have already made it clear that they will not be sending their teams for the Olympics due to the worsening pandemic, which has so far killed 16,000 people and infected close to 4,00,000 globally.
The USA track and field, swimming and gymnastics bodies have also called for a postponement.
The New Zealand Athletes' Commission had conducted a survey to gather feedback from the country's athletes, and New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith welcomed their decision supporting postponement of Tokyo Olympics.
"Our focus is first and foremost the athletes. It has been important to us to give them the opportunity to talk to us. We value their resilience and flexibility and we know working through the changes won't be easy," Smith said in a statement.
"We support their position and will now share their views with the IOC as we advocate internationally on behalf of New Zealand athletes and sport. We reiterate the need for a swift decision."
New Zealand Athlete Commission member Sarah Cowley-Ross said, "New Zealand athletes have long prepared for a July 2020 Olympic Games however the Olympic Movement is founded on humanity and that, right now, must come first....