Last week, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games became the largest sporting event to be postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Now, organizers revealed rescheduled dates in 2021.
The games will officially kick-off on July 23 and run through August 8, 2021. The Paralympics will follow on August 24 through September 5, 2021. Originally, the Olympics were slated to be held from July 24 to August 9 of this year, however, members of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed that the games should be postponed amid the global outbreak.
The new schedule was agreed upon by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshiro, and other officials via telephone conference in order to avoid physical contact with one another.
“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,” IOC said in a statement. “Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.”
Officials agreed that the games will still be called Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
This decision follows postponements and cancellations of major sporting events like the BNP Paribas Open, Masters 2020, and the Kentucky Derby. As of Monday morning, more than 700,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus, while 35,000 people have died, according to the coronavirus tracker. In the U.S., President Trump announced that the government would extend its social distancing guidelines to April 30.