It's official: Tokyo Olympics rescheduled for July 23, 2021
Updated 21:04, 30-Mar-2020
CGTN
The Olympic rings displayed in Tokyo. /VCG

The Olympic rings displayed in Tokyo. /VCG

The postponed Summer Olympics in Tokyo have been confirmed to happen on July 23, 2021, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Monday.

"The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the government of Japan today agreed new dates for the games of the XXXII Olympiad, in 2021. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from 24 August until 5 September 2021," said the IOC in an official statement.

Earlier on the day, three Japanese media outlets, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK), TBS and The Nikkei broke the news.

Seiko Hashimoto, Olympic and Paralympic Minister of Japan, speaks to the press after a telephone conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach, March 24, 2020. /VCG

Seiko Hashimoto, Olympic and Paralympic Minister of Japan, speaks to the press after a telephone conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and IOC President Thomas Bach, March 24, 2020. /VCG

The new schedule was reached by IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, Olympic and Paralympic Minister Seiko Hashimoto and other leaders of the key parties via telephone conference.

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

"It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world," said IPC President Andrew Parsons.

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, speaks at Tokyo 2020 Executive Board Meeting in Tokyo, March 30, 2020. /VCG

Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Organizing Committee, speaks at Tokyo 2020 Executive Board Meeting in Tokyo, March 30, 2020. /VCG

"Notwithstanding the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time in history, and various other issues that have already been highlighted, the event schedule is the cornerstone of future preparations, and I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations," said Mori.

"Since we now have concrete new dates to aim for, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will commit all its resources, and work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the national government and other stakeholders to fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure," said Koike.

A Tokyo Olympic countdown clock set up near JR Tokyo Station shows the current time and date, rather than the number of days remaining to the games, March 25, 2020. /VCG

A Tokyo Olympic countdown clock set up near JR Tokyo Station shows the current time and date, rather than the number of days remaining to the games, March 25, 2020. /VCG

The Olympic event had been originally scheduled to take place on July 24 this year, but the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic interrupted the plan and forced both Tokyo and the IOC to reconsider.

Both at first insisted on holding the Olympics on the initial date but the continuously deteriorating situation put a growing number of Olympic Committees in opposition to the IOC and Tokyo.

On March 23, the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic committees, Australian Olympic Committee announced that they will not send their athletes to Tokyo unless the Olympics is rescheduled. Soon, more Olympic committees joined them.

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, attends an interview after the decision to postpone the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 25, 2020. /VCG

Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, attends an interview after the decision to postpone the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, in Lausanne, Switzerland, March 25, 2020. /VCG

The IOC and Tokyo compromised by delaying the event to 2021, no later than summer of the year.

The year of 2021 will make a true sports festival as so far as the Summer Olympics, the UEFA European Championship, Copa América and the newly expanded FIFA Club World Cup are now all scheduled to take place during that time.