The initially planned 2020 Olympic Games will be organised on July 23, 2021 and run to August 8, after being postponed for a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement was made on Monday, March 30, 2020 by the Tokyo Olympic Games president,Yoshiro Mori at a news conference.
During the press briefing organised by the board members of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) it was agreed that the Olympics will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021.
The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on August24, 2020, will now take place between August 24 and September5, 2021.
The President of IOC, Thomas Bach said: “I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge.
He went further to add that “humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”
International Paralympic Committee president Andrew Parsons on his part noted that “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”.
The decision as explained by the executives was taken after considering the rest of the global sports calendar with a keen interest on the men’s football European Championship postponed to 2021.
The decision to postpone both events was taken to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19.
Many hope that the delay will allow sufficient time to finish the qualification process which will follow the same mitigation measures planned for 2020.
It has previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned will remain unchanged.
It is the first time in the Olympic Games’ 124-year modern history that they have been delayed, though they were cancelled altogether in 1916 because of World War One and again in 1940 and 1944 for World War Two.
The Cold War boycotts affected the summer Games in Moscow and Los Angeles in 1980 and 1984 respectively.