UPDATE: Amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the International Olympic Committee has stated that the Tokyo Olympics will be happening in 2021. "It will take place with or without COVID," IOC Vice President John Coates told Agence France-Presse on Monday, Sept. 7, via Deadline. "The games will start July 23 next year."
Coates also said that next year's Olympics will be called the "Games that conquered COVID."
The new dates for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo have just been revealed.
After getting postponed due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the Games have been rescheduled to open on July 23, 2021 and close on August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will also run from August 24, 2021 through September 5, 2021. Organizers agreed on the new dates during a telephone conference on Monday.
According to a press release shared by the International Olympic Committee, the decision was made based on three main considerations: protecting the health of the athletes and everyone involved in the event and supporting the containment of the coronavirus, safeguarding the interests of the athletes and of the Olympic sport, fitting into the global international sports calendar.
"These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," the press release stated. "The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented."
The postponement was announced last week. At the time, it was made clear that the Games would be rescheduled to a date "beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021."
Many athletes reacted to the rescheduling news shortly after it was shared.
"Right as soon as I saw it, I was disappointed," Ryan Lochte said during an at-home interview for Good Morning America. "I mean, I have trained four years for this moment, and this is probably one of my biggest Olympics, going into the Olympics, that I've ever had in my career. But this is bigger than me, this is bigger than the Olympians. This is affecting the entire world. And right now, our main thing is staying safe and staying healthy."
This article was originally published on Mon, Mar 30, 2020, 6:54 a.m.