Olympics officials reschedule start of Tokyo Games for July 2021

The Summer Olympics in Tokyo will begin on July 23, 2021, exactly one year after they were originally scheduled to start, officials announced Monday. 

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on Monday that the Tokyo Games will run through Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will take place between Aug. 24 and Sept. 5 next year. 

The Olympics were postponed for a year in response to the global coronavirus pandemic. 

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“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 IOC said in the announcement

The new dates were agreed upon by the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee as well as the Tokyo and Japanese governments, according to the IOC. 

IOC President Thomas Bach said in a statement he is confident “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,” Bach said. 

The IOC had faced pressure to postpone the Summer Games before making its decision. Global Athlete, which represents Olympics hopefuls, USA Swimming and USA Track & Field had called on the committee to postpone them. 

Australia and Canada had announced they would not compete in the Tokyo Games if they took place as originally scheduled.