On March 17, 2020, the International Olympics Committee made the decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics to July 23 through Aug. 8, 2021. The Games have only been canceled three times, during World War I (1916) and World War II (1940, 1944), and the committee is adamant about having them in July 2021.
The Olympics have always been a reliable and unifying event in our world. Athletes and fans have looked forward to the traditional games, therefore the decision to postpone them was deliberate and involved top officials: President Thomas Bach (IOC), Tokyo 2020 President Mori Yoshirō, Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko, and Olympic and Paralympic Minister Hashimoto Seiko.
“In consideration of the global coronavirus outbreak, we need a certain time frame before we fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure for the athletes and spectators. Also, the preparation for the new dates will go smoothly, as the dates match with the same timeframe as the original competition dates, corresponding with ticketing, venue staffing, volunteers and transport,” Said Governor Koike in a statement released by the International Olympics Committee.
Postponing the Olympics will add $2.7 billion to Japan’s $12.6 million budget. The Committee has set aside $800 million to help cover the cost.
“The IOC has to organize postponed Olympic Games for the first time ever, and has to help its stakeholders come through this global crisis,” Stated IOC President Bache in a video news release addressing the approval of the financial envelope.
The games will have more to offer in 2021. With the addition of surfing, sport climbing, skateboarding, karate, and baseball/softball, 474 more athletes will take part in the games.
Even though the games didn’t happen this summer, there is plenty to look forward to as they approach in July 2021.