TOKYO (NCC News) – On Monday, March 23rd, the International Olympic Committee(IOC) announced that they would be postponing this summer’s edition of the games that were set to begin in Tokyo on July 24, 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Just one week later, the IOC announced a new time slot for the games. That new time slot will simply be one year later than when the games were originally intended to be held. The opening ceremony is slated to take place on July 23, 2021, with the closing ceremonies being held on August 8, 2021.
This is the first time in the history of the games that they were postponed, although the 1916, 1940 and 1944 games were cancelled because of World War I and II respectively.
The IOC and Japanese Government were receiving a lot of pressure from athletes and sport federations, among other groups, to postpone the games following the cancellation of sporting events worldwide in early March.
A buy product from the rapid spread of the Coronavirus worldwide was that many qualifying events were being cancelled. This meant a lot of athletes who were vying to compete in this year’s games, were not able to qualify. This was another main reason for the postponement of the Olympics as in an interview with ESPN, Tokyo Organizing Committee President Yoshiro Mori said;
“We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify,” More said.
This postponement will give athletes now the opportunity to plan their training and competition schedules accordingly for the rest of 2020 and the first half of 2021, once there is a return to normalcy from this pandemic.
The IOC originally discussed moving the games to the Spring of 2021, but found conflict with the seasons of European soccer, and professional sports in North America.