Major parties involved in the Tokyo Summer Olympics have set a new date for the event amid the coronavirus pandemic. The paralympic games were also postponed.
The news comes after endless border shutdowns, city lockdowns, and calls for self-quarantine throughout the globe due to the novel coronavirus, which was diagnosed in over 600,000 individuals.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics Logo. | Source: Wikimedia Commons
According to the Olympics website, five authoritative bodies made the decision. The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Government of Japan were involved.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee also helped make the decision regarding the games of the XXXII Olympiad.
IOC President Thomas Bach, Organising Committee President Mori Yoshiro, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko discussed the matter in a telephone conference on Monday.
A Diplomatic Security Service special agent leads a Japanese delegation on a tour of the Videna Multi-Sport complex, Lima, Peru, August 2019. | Source: Wikimedia Commons
According to the site, all of the International Summer Olympic Sports Federations and the National Olympics Committees supported the massive move.
The new dates for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic games are from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
The reasoning behind the move is from principles decided upon by the IOC Executive Board, which lead to three primary considerations. The first one is to protect the health of all involved and slow the COVID-19 spread.
The second is to secure the interests of the participating athletes. The third is to reduce disruption in the global international sports calendar due to the coronavirus.
After the announcement, Bach, " I am confident that, working together with [...] all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel."
He added: "These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel." Governor Yuriko noted that the new dates will make for a smooth transition in terms of ticketing, venue staffing, and transport.
Prior announcements established good news for those athletes who are already qualified to take part in the Tokyo 2020 games. Their quota places — or where they'll start in the games, are also unchanged.
The postponement is the first for the Olympics since the 1940s, reports People. In total, the games have gone off-schedule four times since their inauguration in 1986.
The last three times the games were canceled or postponed were a result of war. The first time it was canceled was in 1916, two years into World War I. Last time, it was World War II in 1940 and again in 1944.
According to People, the postponed Summer Olympics will continue to be called Tokyo 2020 despite the shift to 2021. We hope that by then things will have long settled down.