COVID-19 Pandemic Postpones Tokyo Olympics By An Year

The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot of this year’s games.

Tokyo organizers tell on Monday that the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021. That is around one year after the games were due to start this year.

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

Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postpone the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

This year’s program of games was to start from July 24 and close on Aug. 9. But the near exact one-year delay will see its closing ceremony on Aug. 8.

There was talk of switching the Olympics to spring. This move would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blooms. And would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.

After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week now postpone the Tokyo Games. Due to the pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first suspension in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime.

Rescheduling of The Paralympics 

They start from Aug. 24-Sept. 5. The new Olympic dates would collide with the world championships in track and swimming as per the program. But now assuming these events will take place later due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

“The IOC has had close discussions with the relevant international federations,” organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto states. “I believe the IFs have accepted the games being held in the summer.”

Muto states the decision is in support of all the international sports federations. It basis itself on three main concerns. To protect the health of athletes. Safeguarding the interests of the athletes and Olympic sport. 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 tells. “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.”

Both Mori and CEO Toshiro Muto states the cost of rescheduling will be “massive”. Some local reports predict billions of dollars. With most of the expenses borne by Japanese taxpayers.

Muto promises transparency in calculating the costs. He even states to divide this cost.

“Since it (the Olympics) was scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asks. “Besides, there will need to be guaranteed when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”