The International Olympic Committee (IOC) have announced the new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
Earlier we reported that the IOC had begun “detailed discussions” with Japanese officials and Olympic organizers, regarding whether the games would continue, or be postponed. Cancellation of the 32nd Olympic Games was “not on the agenda.”
Soon after however, IOC member Dick Pound told USA Today that the committee had already decided to postpone the Games, with the conversation turning to what would happen next. The IOC later officially announced that the Games would be postponed, but “not later than summer 2021.”
Now, the IOC have announced the new date for the Olympic Games, exactly one year after the originally planned date. This came after an agreement between the IOC, the International Paralympic Commitee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, and the Government of Japan.
The decision reportedly came through three considerations. “To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus. […] To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport. […] The global international sports calendar.”
In the announcement, the IOC stated “these new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This includes the postponement of GDC, and the aforementioned Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with the cancellation of E3 2020 and Comiket 98. At this time, Gamescom 2020 is still being prepared, with organizers monitoring local regulations and the virus’ spread.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been over 741,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and over 35,000 deaths. Over 156,800 people have made a “total recovery.”
Japan has 1,866 cases, 54 deaths, and 424 total recoveries. On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak “can be categorized as a pandemic.”
Returning to the statement, IOC President Thomas Bach stated his praise for all involved, and his high hopes for the future of the games.
“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. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes’ Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. With this announcement, 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. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”
The statement also re-iterated that all qualifications and quotas will remain unchanged. The event will still be the XXXII Olympiad.
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will run from July 23rd, 2021, to August 8th. The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games will be celebrated from August 24th, 2021, to September 5th 2021.