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New Dates Announced for 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics After Coronavirus Delay

Here's when the Games will arrive

Lindsay MacDonald

Update 3/30/20: We know now when the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics will take place, after the event was delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. On Monday, the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the government of Japan, and affiliated organizations announced that the Summer Games will take place from July 23, 2021, until August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will follow from August 24, 2021, until September 5, 2021.

The organizations said that the move was meant to protect the health of Olympic athletes, support the containment of COVID-19, and with respect to the global sports calendar.

In a statement, IOC's president said of the news, "I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes' Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact. With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel."

Update 3/24/20: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has confirmed that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed until 2021, following a meeting with International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. "We agreed that a postponement would be the best way to ensure that the athletes are in peak condition when they compete and to guarantee the safety of the spectators," he told reporters, per The Guardian.

The IOC, in a joint statement with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, said that the Games "must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games, and the international community."

Although the Olympics will now take place in 2021, they will still be titled "the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020."

3/23/20: Like so many sporting events before it, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will be delayed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, likely to 2021. International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA Today that the details of the postponement have yet to be worked out, but the Olympic committee will tackle the specifics over the next four weeks.

"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," said Pound. Pound added that the postponement plan will "come in stages" because of the "ramifications of moving this, which are immense."

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In a statement provided to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesperson for NBCUniversal said Monday, "These are extraordinary and unprecedented times, and we fully support the IOC's decision to step up its scenario-planning for the Tokyo Olympics. The notion that we can control the timing of an Olympics at any time is wrong."

The New York Times reported back in February that organizers in Japan and at the International Olympic Committee headquarters in Switzerland had started discussing the implications of the virus' spread on the planning process for the Olympics.

Subsequently, multiple countries announced that they would not be sending athletes to the Olympics this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, including Canada and Australia.

The Olympics have been canceled three times before, previously due to World War I and World War II, which makes this is the first time a global pandemic has put a stop to the games.