Organizers of the Olympic Games were forced to postpone the event scheduled for this summer in Japan, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
They will, therefore, be postponed for a year, almost to the day. The Tokyo Olympic Games will open on the 23rd July 2021, the organisers announced on Monday 30th March 2020.
— Agence France-Presse (@afpfr) March 30, 2020
Initially planned from July 24th to August 9th, 2020, the largest sporting event in the world has also borne the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on March 24 its decision to postpone the Games, “in order to safeguard the health of athletes and all those involved in the Olympic Games as well as the international community”.
“Constantly changing situation”
The postponement of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games due to the ongoing pandemic is unprecedented in the history of the modern Olympic Games in peacetime and represents a colossal logistical challenge for the organizers.
Earlier today, the chairman of the Japanese organizing committee Yoshiro Mori had insisted on the need to quickly settle the question of the new dates of the Olympics so that we could then move on to everything else.
“We agreed on the organization of the event in summer as initially planned, due to the coronavirus (…) and the time required for the preparation, selection and qualification of the athletes.”
For its part, the IOC considered that these new dates would give health authorities and organizers “the maximum amount of time to deal with a constantly changing situation and the disturbances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic”.
This choice will cause a “minimum” of upheavals in the international sports calendar, also said the IOC in a press release.
The postponement puts on the shoulders of the organizers the task “unprecedented” to reorganize an event prepared for seven years and the boss of Tokyo 2020, Toshiro Muto admitted that the additional costs would be “massive”.