Olympic Torch Relay Suspended In Greece Due To COVID-19

The Olympic Torch Relay‘s Greece portion was suspended by the Greek Olympic Committee on Friday due to concerns over the outbreak of COVID-19. The torch was on its second of an eight-day trek across the nation, but the remaining dates have all been cancelled.

The cancellation came after an “unexpectedly large crowd” gathered to watch the flame pass through the southern Greek town of Sparta despite requests for the public to stay away to avoid spreading the virus.

In a statement posted on Facebook, the committee mentioned that big crowds had gathered along the sides of the routes and at the ceremonies over the first two days, but “that this was the best possible decision in order to contribute to the containment of the virus”.

The Olympic flame is still scheduled to be handed over to the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee on Thursday, March 19 at the Panathenaic Stadium in Athens, but there won’t be any crowds in attendance.

The torch is currently scheduled to begin its trek through Japan on March 26th in Fukushima.

Per Corona Tracker, Greece has 133 confirmed cases of COVID-19, while Japan has 639.

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About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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