Lausanne [Switzerland], Mar 30 (ANI): The International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday announced that the Tokyo Olympics 2020 will be 'celebrated' from July 23 to August 8 next year while the Paralympics Games will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
"The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympics Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan today agreed on new dates for the games of the XXXII Olympiad, in 2021. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic Games, which will be celebrated from 24 August until 5 September 2021," the IOC said in a statement.
Earlier, the Tokyo Olympic Games were slated to be held from July 24 to August 9, while the Paralympic Games were scheduled to be held from August 25 to September 6. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced the postponement of the event.
IOC said the new dates are 'exactly one year' after those originally planned, giving the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the games maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape caused by the coronavirus.
"These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," the statement read.
"The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), 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. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented," it added.
The IOC president Thomas Bach thanked all the International Federations (IF) for their support.
"I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the great partnership and their support in the consultation process over the last few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes' Commission, with whom we have been in constant contact," Bach said in a statement.
"With this announcement, I am confident that, working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the Japanese Government, and all our stakeholders, we can master this unprecedented challenge. Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel. These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel," he added.
IPC president Andrew Parsons said the new dates will provide certainty to the athletes.
"It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world. When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra-special display of humanity uniting as one,a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport," Parsons said.
"With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time," he added. (ANI)