North Korea says it’s skipping Olympic Games

North Korea became the first country to announce it's not sending athletes to the Tokyo Olympics because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has already pushed the Games back from last summer.

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Sports

April 6, 2021 - 9:47 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea became the first country to drop out of the Tokyo Olympics because of coronavirus fears, a decision that underscores the challenges facing Japan as it struggles to stage a global sporting event amid a raging pandemic.

A website run by North Korea’s Sports Ministry said its national Olympic Committee during a meeting on March 25 decided not to participate in the Games to protect athletes from the “world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.”

The pandemic has already pushed back the Tokyo Games, which were originally scheduled for 2020, and organizers have scrambled to put in place preventive measures, such as banning international spectators, to ensure the safety of athletes and residents.

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