Rachel Axon, USA TODAY Published 12:13 p.m. ET March 13, 2020 CLOSE Places like the Colosseum in Rome, Grand Central Station in New York and St. Peters Square are now deserted in the wake of coronavirus. USA TODAYAmid mass cancellations of U.S. and European sporting events on Thursday, the Olympic flame lighting continued in Greece.A day later, the Greek leg of the torch relay has been canceled.The Hellenic Olympic Committee announced the spread of COVID-19 has prompted it, in consultation with the Greek ministry of health, to cancel the Olympic flame’s journey in the country. It will still complete the handover to Tokyo 2020 organizers but with no public in attendance.“This is even more regrettable after the huge success of the relay during its first two days with big crowds gathering along the route and at the ceremonies,” the HOC said in a statement.Tokyo organizers said they will work with municipalities in Japan and plan to begin the relay there on March 26.In a statement, Tokyo 2020 reiterated that it will continue to work with the International Olympic Committee to open the Games as planned on July 24.Efforts to address COVID-19 have led to unprecedented disruption in the sports world


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