The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has announced the Tokyo Olympic Games will now officially begin on July 23, 2021.
This announcement comes after the IOC announced earlier in the month the 2020 Tokyo Olympics would be postponed due to the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) around the world.
IOC president, Thomas Bach, said the new dates of July 2021, exactly one year later than the originally planned 2020 dates, would give organisers time to properly prepare and would also keep the disruption to the international sports calendar at a minimum.
“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,” Bach said.
“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.
“Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process.
“The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented,” he said.
Along with the announcement regarding the July 2021 date for the Olympic Games, the IOC also announced the Paralympic Games will take place from August 24 to September 5.
Bach also touched on the importance of the Olympic Games during difficult times in the world and the need for these Games to be locked in.
“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel,” Bach said, touching on the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic around the world.
“These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel,” he said.
The Olympic Games’ organising committee has also confirmed any tickets already purchased for the 2020 dates will be valid in 2021 and a full refund can be give to anyone who will no longer be able to attend due to the postponement.