The session was scheduled to take place between July 24 and August 9, 2020. However, the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government announced last Tuesday to postpone it after pressures from federations and athletes to postpone it in light of the global stopping of sporting activity due to the Covid-19 virus.
After news in the past days about the possibility of holding the tournament in the spring of 2021, the Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee resolved this Monday, announcing that the tournament will maintain the same dates almost, but by a general difference.
“The Olympic Games will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games (for people with special needs) will be held between August 24 and September 5,” Tokyo Chief 2020 Yoshiro Mori told reporters Monday.
The announcement of the new date came on the day the International Olympic Committee confirmed that its executive committee would hold a meeting during which it was expected that the issue would be discussed. In a statement, the ICRC announced that it had agreed with the “Paralympic International Committee, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Japanese government, on the new date for the 32nd edition of the Olympics.”
She noted that the stakeholders held earlier today “a telephone meeting” attended by German International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, Yoshiro Mori and a number of Japanese officials “and agreed on the new date.”
Japanese officials have previously confirmed that the games will retain the name “Tokyo 2020”.
The revelation came hours after Maury himself confirmed that organizers were studying the pros and cons of holding the games in the spring or summer of 2021, and it was likely that the new date would be announced definitively soon.
When announcing the delay last week, the organizers decided that the session would take place next year, no later than the summer. Reports in the past days indicated that the delay opened the way for studying its establishment in the spring instead of summer, and avoids the high temperature and high humidity known to the Japanese capital, and led to the transfer of the marathon from Tokyo to the city of Sapporo in the north of the country, which enjoys moderate weather during the season the summer.
But the ICRC stressed in its statement on Monday that the new date was based on three basic factors agreed upon by international sports federations and Olympic national committees, namely, “protecting the health of athletes and all those involved in the session and supporting efforts to contain the spread of the Covid-19 virus, as well as protecting the interests of athletes and the Olympic movement, and the schedule of activities Global sports. ”
Mori, in turn, confirmed that “it was agreed that the date will be in the summer as scheduled, given the emerging corona virus … and the need for some time for the preparations, the selection of athletes and their eliminations.”
No date has been modified for a summer Olympics for any reason other than World War. The sessions of 1916 were canceled due to the First War, and 1940 and 1944 due to the Second War. The Summer Olympics is the largest global sporting event ever, and when held every four years, it attracts 11,000 athletes and hundreds of thousands of fans at least.
The delay has caused fluctuations in all organizational aspects of the games, including sports, security, ticketing and accommodation. On the sports front, Bach previously confirmed that the athletes who had previously qualified for the Tokyo 2020 tournament, will have their place reserved for next year’s tournament.
Rescheduling the games poses a dilemma at the organizational level, especially in light of the busy schedule of major events scheduled for next year, most notably the World Championships in Athletics and the World Swimming Championships. But many international sports federations have previously expressed their willingness to adjust their schedule as well.
In previous statements, Morey had considered that the decision to postpone the games to 2021 would lead to “very high costs” and cause “a very difficult task.”
Postponement may cost $ 2.7 billion
According to the Japanese daily “Nikai”, the delay may cost $ 2.7 billion, including site rental fees, changes to hotel reservations and additional fees for employees and security personnel, among other things.
Postponing the Tokyo Olympics is a major logistical challenge for the organizers as well, in terms of a major dilemma related to the Olympic Village, which will be inhabited by 11,000 athletes, before they are converted into apartments and handed over to their new owners. A list of 940 apartments has been put up for sale since the summer of 2019, and most of them have been sold, according to local newspapers. The developer that constructed this project should persuade these owners to postpone their move to the apartments they have purchased.
And after the games for Japan were a sign of overcoming the crisis experienced by the country in 2011 as a result of the devastating earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, the 2021 Games became a sign that mankind was able to overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 epidemic that froze various sports activities around the world, and has caused so far About 34 thousand deaths declared worldwide.
“Mankind is currently finding itself in a dark tunnel … this Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 may be the light at the end of this tunnel,” Bach said.
As for Mori, he expressed his conviction that “the task of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee is to hold the Olympic and Paralympic Games next year as evidence of mankind’s victory” over the emerging Corona virus.