Olympics to be held next year
Next year’s Japan Olympic Games will begin on July 23, 2021 and will run until August 8.
The Paralympic Games have also been rescheduled from August 24-September 5. It’s a near-exact one-year delay considering this year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on August 9.
The IOC and Japanese organisers last week had pushed back the Games due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but left the new date in question. The July 23 date though means the quadrennial multi-sport event will still take place during Tokyo’s hottest time of the year, an issue that had previously caused worry and complications.
Think the marathon and race-walking events moving to the northern city of Sapporo earlier. But it also means the IOC will likely be able to call on the presence of top football, tennis, golf and basketball players — a big attraction for TV audiences.
There had also been talk of a spring Olympics, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But that would have clashed with European soccer and North American sports leagues.
The new Olympic dates would conflict with the scheduled world championships in track and swimming, but those events are now expected to also be pushed back.
Did you know
Only three modern Olympic Games have been cancelled till now. The games were cancelled due to World War I (1916) and World War II (1940, 1944). And now this year’s Games have been postponed.