The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Government of Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Organizing Committee of the Games agreed on new dates for the Tokyo Olympics on Monday, which was postponed for 12 months last week due to the global spread of COVID-19.
The world’s biggest sporting celebration will now be held from 23 July to 8 August 2021, with the Paralympic Games to run from 24 August to 5 September.
On Monday night, IOC Chairman Thomas Bach, Organizing Committee Chairman Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike and Olympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto agreed on the dates on a conference call and the proposal was approved at the IOC Extraordinary Board.
The Olympics will still be held over 17 days, keeping the opening ceremony on a Friday and the closing ceremony a Sunday — the same schedule as before the postponement. The original dates were 24 July to 9 August 2020. By not changing the timing significantly, preparations can be made based on the tournament plan originally created for this summer.
Although some international sports organizations have proposed that the games be held in spring from the perspective of measures to counter the heat, Mori said at a press conference after the conference call, “In consideration of COVID-19, a postponement of one year is preferable. Typhoons and heat were already anticipated for the 2020 event.”
Governor Koike said, “I would like to prepare for a safe and secure tournament for athletes and spectators. First we must overcome COVID-19.”
She expressed the prospect of the Olympic marathon and race walk being held in Sapporo city.