New dates for Olympic Games confirmed for 2021

Coronavirus

A man wearing a face mask walks before the logo of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building in Tokyo on March 24, 2020. – The International Olympic Committee came under pressure to speed up its decision about postponing the Tokyo Games on March 24 as athletes criticised the four-week deadline and the United States joined calls to delay the competition. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP) (Photo by KAZUHIRO NOGI/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNN) — The postponed Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has confirmed.

An agreement was reached on Monday after a call between leaders from the IOC, Tokyo 2020 organizers, the Japanese government and the International Paralympic Committee.

The Summer Games had been scheduled to run from July 24 to August 8 this year, but it was announced last week by Bach and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that the Olympics had been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new dates for the Paralympic Games are August 24 to September 5, 2021.

“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel,” Bach said in a statement. “These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.

“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.”

The IOC says the decision on the new dates was taken “to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.”

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It believes the new dates — exactly a year later than originally scheduled — will provide the least disruption to an already crowded 2021 sporting calendar, while also giving athletes enough time to complete the qualification process.

“I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations,” said Tokyo 2020 president Mori Yoshirō.

“I would like to thank all the stakeholders, including the host city Tokyo and the Government of Japan, for their hard work during this short period. The Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will continue to work hard for the success of next year’s Games.”

Despite now being confirmed for 2021, the Games will still be known as Tokyo 2020 despite the postponement.

It is the first time in history that the Olympics have been postponed during peacetime, with the Games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 canceled because of world wars.

‘Compromise’

The new dates clash with the World Athletics Championships, which were due to take place in Oregon, USA from August 6 to August 15, 2021.

The sport’s governing body, World Athletics, says it is already searching for a new slot as it looks to postpone the competition by a year.

Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end we are now working with the organizers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World Athletics Championships,” it said in a statement.

“We would like to thank our Oregon 21 Organizing Committee, their stakeholders and our partners for their collaboration and willingness to explore all options.”

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