By Nick Romano
March 30, 2020 at 09:22 AM EDT
Advertisement

The 2020 Olympics are now the 2021 Olympics. After making the decision to postpone the Summer Games in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympics Committee announced Monday that new dates have formally been set for the Olympics and the Paralympics in Tokyo.

Both events will now take place one year later than their initially planned 2020 dates. So, the Olympics are now scheduled to run from July 24-Aug. 9, 2021, and the Paralympics are slated for Aug. 25-Sep. 6, 2021.

"These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," a joint statement from the IOC and Tokyo officials reads.

The dates "also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented."

President of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee Mori Yoshirō commented in a separate statement, "A certain amount of time is required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable. In terms of transport, arranging volunteers and the provision of tickets for those in Japan and overseas, as well as allowing for the COVID-19 situation, we think that it would be better to reschedule the Games to one year later than planned, in the summer of 2021."

According to the World Health Organization, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases around the globe climbed to 638,146 across 202 territories, with 30,039 reported deaths.

Multiple athletic organizations, including U.S.A. Track and Field, U.S.A. Swimming, and the Australian Olympic Committee, expressed hesitance attending the Games this year in Japan over safety concerns for athletes. In an interview published by USA Today on March 23, IOC member Dick Pound said the Games would be postponed a year. A formal decision was announced shortly after.

Andrew Parsons, the President of the International Paralympics Committee, said, "The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world."

For the latest information on coronavirus (COVID-19), including how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you are sick, please visit coronavirus.gov.

Related content:

Comments