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Summer Olympics Postponed to 2021 Due to COVID-19

Brock Fritz

Tokyo 2020 will take place in 2021.

The decision has been made to postpone the Summer Olympics a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Tuesday’s joint statement from the International Olympic Committee and Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee.

“The Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the statement read.

The joint statement came after a conference call led by IOC President Thomas Bach and Japan Prime Minister Abe Shinzo.

“President Bach and Prime Minister Abe expressed their shared concern about the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and what it is doing to people’s lives and the significant impact it is having on global athletes’ preparations for the Games,” the statement read, noting that there are more than 375,000 coronavirus cases worldwide.

The Olympics, which were scheduled to start July 24, were one of the last sporting events affected by the coronavirus. The IOC has been adamant that the Games won’t be canceled, and began to publicly discuss the possibility of postponing it last week.

“We don’t know what the situation will be,” Bach told The New York Times last week. “We are considering different scenarios, but we are contrary to many other sports organizations or professional leagues in that we are four and a half months away from the Games.”

Related content: IOC President Says Canceling Olympics Isn’t on the Agenda

A number of countries asked the IOC to postpone in the past week, including Canada and Australia announcing that they wouldn’t be sending any athletes to Tokyo unless it was postponed.

The name won’t change, as the Games will still be referred to as the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The committees also announced that the Olympic flame will remain in Japan.

“The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present,” the statement said.

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