The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed that the postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021.
A decision was agreed upon on Monday after a call between leaders from the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organizers, the Japanese government and the International Paralympic Committee.
Originally, the Summer Games had been scheduled to run from July 24 to August 8 this year, but it was reported last week by Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Olympics had been postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.
The Paralympic Games will now be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
Bach said in his statement:
“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel, these Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”
“With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government, and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.”
The IOC announces that the decision on the new dates was made to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.
It strongly believes the new dates scheduled, which is exactly a year later than its original schedule, will provide the least disruption to an already crowded 2021 sporting calendar, while also giving athletes an ample amount of time to complete the qualification process.
Tokyo 2020 president Mori Yoshirō said:
“I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations.”
“I would like to thank all the stakeholders, including the host city Tokyo and the Government of Japan, for their hard work during this short period. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will continue to work hard for the success of next year’s Games.”
Despite the dates now being confirmed for 2021, authorities said the Games will still be known as Tokyo 2020 despite the postponement. It is the first time in history that the Olympics have been postponed during a time of peace, with the Games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 canceled because of world wars.
The new dates are said to clash with the World Athletics Championships, which about to take place in Oregon, USA from August 6 to August 15, 2021.
The sport’s governing body, World Athletics, announces it is already searching for a new slot as it looks to postpone the competition by a year.
In a statement, they said:
“Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end, we are now working with the organizers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World Athletics Championships.”
“We would like to thank our Oregon 21 Organizing Committee, their stakeholders and our partners for their collaboration and willingness to explore all options.”