UPDATE: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will take place July 23 – August 8 of next summer
Six days after learning that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be postponed to the summer of 2021, the dates for the Games has been made official.
— Olympics (@Olympics) March 30, 2020
The announcement came early Monday morning.
The Olympic Games #Tokyo2020 will be held from 23 July until 8 August 2021.
— #Tokyo2020 (@Tokyo2020) March 30, 2020
Nearly a week ago, we learned that the world’s biggest sporting event would not take place this summer, but it would not be cancelled.
BREAKING: The Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games have officially been postponed and will now take place no later than summer 2021.
— Team USA (@TeamUSA) March 24, 2020
During a discussion between International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach and Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the two decided to postpone the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by about one year.
“The IOC president and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” said a joint statement by the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee.”
Even though the Games would not take place in 2020, it was decided they will still be called the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. Until the time comes, the Olympic flame will continue to be stored and displayed in Fukushima.
Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced that the Tokyo Olympics will be postponed to 2021, the first such delay in the Games’ 124-year modern history https://t.co/Nj9xrRUA1w pic.twitter.com/TkdepjKAto
— Reuters (@Reuters) March 24, 2020
The decision was made in response to the rapidly growing coronavirus pandemic. There are now over 700,000 cases worldwide.
CORONAVIRUS LATEST: https://t.co/ieAuYjpNIt
• FDA gives anti-malaria drugs emergency approval to treat COVID-19.
• Pandemic of novel coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 34,000 people across the globe.
• There are now more than 723,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 30, 2020
A March 24 statement from International Olympic Committee (IOC) Vice President Dick Pound announced the postponement.
“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided. The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know,” said Pound, a former Canadian swimming champion.
"It is our experience as athletes that you must always be ready to adapt to new situations. For this reason we have, as indicated before, been thinking in different scenarios and are adapting them almost day by day."
A Letter from IOC President Thomas Back OLY to athletes: https://t.co/RdWFODre1k
— Athlete365 (@Athlete365) March 23, 2020
Originally there was a deadline of four weeks to consider all options, however there was mounting pressure from Olympic committees and athletes for a more timely decision.
Several countries even took matters into their own hands. Canada decided they would not send athletes to the Tokyo Olympics if the games went on as scheduled in July of this year.
More than a performance, a record, or a medal.
— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) March 23, 2020
Australia echoed their sentiments:
“It’s clear the Games can’t be held in July. Our athletes have been magnificent in their positive attitude to training and preparing, but the stress and uncertainty has been extremely challenging for them,” Australia wrote in a statement.
Athletics Australia completely supports the view of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) and Paralympics Australia to postpone the Olympic and Paralympic Games until July 2021.
— Athletics Australia (@AthsAust) March 23, 2020
Countries weren’t the only groups to protest. Global Athlete, an international group representing Olympic hopefuls, expressed its frustrations and even athletes themselves weighed in.
Athletes dream of this moment for a lifetime…competing in the Olympics, representing their country, winning medals…78% of professional track & field athletes are willing to postpone that dream for their safety & the safety of our world. #wearethesport https://t.co/oKyRPRUtPQ
— emma coburn (@emmajcoburn) March 23, 2020
This is a historic moment, as it marks the first time the Olympics have been suspended. Games have been cancelled during times of war, such as the 1916 Summer Games due to World War I, and the Summer and Winter Games in 1940 and 1944, respectively, because of World War II.
The 4 times @Olympics have been canceled + reason:
1⃣9⃣1⃣6⃣: World War I
1⃣9⃣4⃣0⃣: World War II
1⃣9⃣4⃣4⃣: World War II
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) March 24, 2020
But don’t worry, IOC President President Thomas Bach has ruled out cancelling the games. It’s not a question of if they will take place, but rather a matter of when.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach said today that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would not be cancelled but that a postponement was an option as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
— Fergal Bowers (@FergalBowers) March 22, 2020