The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will not take place in 2020. Tokyo organizers made the news official Monday, moving the event to July 23, 2021, with an end date of Aug. 8.
The move was made in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics were originally supposed to begin July 24, 2020.
The new date — which was rumored for a few days — is set nearly a year after the original start date. The Paralympics was also moved back, and will begin Aug. 24, 2021, and run through Sept. 5. Athletes who have already qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will retain their qualification in 2021.
After holding out longer than other professional sporting events, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics were postponed last week. Athletes responded to the postponement positively, sending out words of encouragement and joking about being a year older when the event takes place in 2021.
Organizers reportedly considered moving the games to next spring, but other events — such as the blooming of the Japanese cherry blossoms as well as European soccer — would be going on at the same time.
Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said the cost of moving the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be “massive.” Before the postponement, the estimated cost of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was about $12.6 billion.
While previous Olympics have been canceled, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are the first ever to be postponed.
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