The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has officially been rescheduled to July 23 – August 8, 2021 as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) promises to safeguard ‘interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport’.
Last week it was announced that the Games would be temporarily suspended however a new date has been decided by the IOC, the International Paralympic Committee (ICP) along with Japan’s Olympic organisers and government in order to provide clarity on the situation.
Thomas Bach, IOC President stated: “I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days.
“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”
The IOC also revealed that the Olympics will also follow certain principles in order to ensure that next year’s Games will run as seamlessly as possible. These include protecting the health of the athletes and everyone involved, supporting the containment of the COVID-19 virus, whilst also respecting the global international sports calendar.
Governor Koike Yuriko added: “In consideration of the global coronavirus outbreak, we need a certain timeframe before we fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure for the athletes and spectators. Also, the preparation for the new dates will go smoothly, as the dates match with same timeframe as the original competition dates, corresponding with ticketing, venue staffing, volunteers and transport.
“Since we now have concrete new dates to aim for, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will commit all its resources, and work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the national government and other stakeholders to fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure.”
The Paralympics have also been rescheduled by a year to August 24 – September 5, 2021 with athletes from both events still holding their qualifying record for the Games.
Andrew Parsons, the President of the IPC, concluded: “It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world. When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport.
“With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.”