The International Olympic Committee confirmed the news today. This year’s Olympics were due to begin on July 24 and run to August 9.
“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,” said the IOC in a statement. “The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 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 international federations.
“Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.”
The games will still be called Tokyo 2020 despite taking place in 2021. The Paralympic Games, originally due to start on 25 August, 2020, will now take place between 24 August and 5 September, 2021.
The World Athletics Championships, originally set to take place between 6 August and 15 August 2021 in Oregon, will now be postponed until 2022.
A log-jam is building next summer. Sporting events currently due to take place in July 2021 include UEFA’s European soccer championships, Wimbledon, the FIFA Club World Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.
The number of coronavirus cases is growing steadily in Japan. Tokyo recorded its biggest daily increase on Sunday with 68 new cases, bringing the capital’s total to 430. The virus has infected more than 1,800 people in the country and caused 55 deaths, excluding 712 cases and 10 deaths from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
Today, high-profile Japanese comedian Ken Shimura was announced as being among victims of the illness.