New dates set for Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics

Sprint start in track and field. File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / stefanschurr

Olympic and Paralympic athletes now know when they will be competing in Tokyo.

Officials with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Monday that the games will be held from July 23 to August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.

The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Games due to concerns about the coronavirus was first announced last week, with Japanese President Shinzo Abe saying they would be delayed by no later than one year. The new dates for the Games hold to that promise.

“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,” IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement released Monday. “With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising 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.”

The delay of the 2020 Games marks the first time the Olympics and Paralympics have been postponed in their history. It was previously announced that all athletes who have already qualified for the Games will maintain that status.