The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have been rescheduled for nearly one year later with the Olympics set for July 23-Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympics will be Aug 24-Sept 5.
“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,” according to a press release. 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. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process.”
The original Olympic Opening Ceremony was to be July 24, 2020, before the Games were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers said last Tuesday that the Games would be moved to some time in 2021 before the end of summer.
Until Monday’s announcement, it was possible the Olympics could have been scheduled for the spring for the first time since the 1928 Amsterdam Games. IOC President Thomas Bach said keeping the July-August timeframe had “unanimous support” from international sport federations.
The new Olympic dates overlap with the original dates for the 2021 World Championships in aquatics (July 16-Aug. 1) and track and field (Aug. 6-15). Both federations said last week it was possible their world championships dates could be moved to accommodate new Olympic dates.
Cornel Marculescu, the executive director of the international aquatics federation (FINA), said last week there was no chance of its worlds in Fukuoka, Japan, being bumped back to 2022.
“No, no, no, no, no, no,” he said, according to The Associated Press. “If they do [the Olympics] in summer, then we (will have to change) the dates (of the world championships).”
World Athletics issued a further update after Monday’s Olympic announcement, saying it began working with organizers of its 2021 World Championships in Eugene, Ore., on new dates in 2022.
The Tokyo Olympics will end fewer than six months before the start of the Beijing Winter Games, which open Feb. 4, 2022. It marks the shortest break between a Summer and Winter Games since they were last held in the same year in 1992.
Non-medal Olympic events typically start one or two days before the Opening Ceremony. The original Tokyo Olympic schedule had softball games kicking off competition two days before the Opening Ceremony.
The new competition schedule for the Tokyo Games in 2021 has not been released.
It is the earliest start to a Summer Olympics since the 1996 Atlanta Games began July 19.
The original Paralympic Opening Ceremony was to be Aug. 25, 2020.
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