The International Olympic Committee and the Japanese organisers have decided to hold the Olympics from July 23 to August 8 in Tokyo next year. The Games were postponed by a year earlier this month due to the coronavirus pandemic that has caused all major sporting events to be cancelled or delayed.
The new dates were agreed Monday between the International Olympic Committee and local organizers. President of the Tokyo organising committee, Yoshiro Mori, had earlier hinted that a decision on the new dates for the Summer Games, which will be called Tokyo 2020 despite being held in 2021, would be taken on Monday itself.
The delay is the first in the 124-year history of the modern Olympics and represents a huge blow for Japan, which invested $13 billion in the run-up to the event, and raised $3 billion from domestic sponsors.
Earlier on Monday, the Games’ chief executive, Toshiro Muto, said the committee was moving “in the direction” of honouring tickets bought for the 2020 Games at the rescheduled event, or providing refunds in case of scheduling changes,
“We want to honour the hopes of all those who purchased the tickets amid high demand,” Muto told a news conference.
But it was too early to say what the additional costs of the delay would be, Muto said.
The IOC and Japanese government succumbed to intense pressure from athletes and sporting bodies around the world last Tuesday by agreeing to push back the Games because of the coronavirus epidemic, which has infected over 630,000 worldwide and caused over 30,000 deaths as of 4PM IST on March 30, 2020.