Rescheduled Dates Announced For Tokyo Olympics

Just days after it was announced that the 2020 Olympics were postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Summer Games have a new start date. The Tokyo Olympics will now begin with the opening ceremony on July 23, 2021 and run until Aug. 8, according to the Associated Press. They were originally scheduled to take place this summer, from July 24 until Aug. 9, before being postponed last week. This marks the first time the Games have ever been postponed (though Olympics have been canceled multiple times due to wars.) 

“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said on Monday. “This will only accelerate our progress.”

According to the AP, there were rumblings that the Tokyo Olympics could take place in the spring. However, many North American professional leagues are in season during the spring, so the logistics for that would’ve been difficult. In addition, Mori added that pushing the Olympics back to the summer of 2021 allows athletes to qualify. After all, many qualifying events have been canceled in recent months as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify,” Mori said.

Swimming and track world championships annually take place in the summer, but those events are expected to be rescheduled as a result of the Olympics taking place next July. Organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto added that the rescheduled dates were approved on the basis of protecting the health of the athletes, safeguarding the interest of the athletes, and Olympic competition, and the international sports calendar.

“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,” the IOC stated. “The new 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.”