New dates for the Tokyo Summer Olympics have been revealed. After announcing the Olympics will be postponed until next year, the International Olympic Committee announced the new dates for the games that will take place in the summer of 2021. The Olympics will kick off on July 23, and the closing ceremonies will be held on Aug. 8. It was originally set for July 24- Aug. 9, 2020.
"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" the IOC said in a news release. The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 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. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented."
The IOC made the decision to postpone the games last week. IOC member Dick Pound revealed to USA Today the cancellation plans, saying: "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. ...[Planning] will come in stages. We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense."
The reason for the postponement is the coronavirus pandemic which continues to grow all over the world. The IOC was a little hesitant to push back the Olympics which led to several countries announcing they would not take part in the games this year.
"This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health," the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee said in a statement. "With COVID-19 and the associated risks, it is not safe for our athletes, and the health and safety of their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training towards these Games," the statement continued. "In fact, it runs counter to the public health advice which we urge all Canadians to follow."