Tokyo Olympics Rescheduled To Start On July 23, 2021
The Tokyo Olympics have officially been rescheduled to start on July 23, 2021, which is close to exactly one year from the day they were supposed to be held this July. Japan’s Olympic organizers and the IOC decided last week that the games would be postponed one year amid the health concerns related to the vast spread of coronavirus.
“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.” The Olympics were slated to take place on July 24 and wrap up on August 9, but the games will now conclude on August 8, 2021.
Sources told ESPN that a spring start date was discussed for next year, but the committee ultimately decided against it due to scheduling conflicts with European soccer and American sports’ leagues. Mori also said hosting the games in the summer would allow more time for athletes to qualify since many of the pre-Olympic events that determine who is eligible to compete have already been postponed.
“We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify,” Mori said.
Tokyo Olympics New Start Date
The last few weeks the IOC and Japanese organizers’ preference was to start the ceremony in July 2020 as planned, but were convinced by athletes, sports federations and other countries’ Olympic committees to reschedule in order to keep everyone involved safe.
“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 IOC said. “The new dates … 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.”
Japan has an Olympic budget of $12.6 billion with a little more than half of that money coming from taxpayers and the remainder provided by a private fund. Because the Olympics will not take this summer, organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto says the cost of postponing the event will be “massive.”
“Since it (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked. “In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”