Coronavirus: 23 July 2021 seen as most probable date for Tokyo Olympics
Sunday, 29 March 2020
The 23rd of July 2021 now appears to be the most probable date for the start of the postponed Tokyo Olympic Games, Japanese media quoted an organising committee source as saying on Saturday.
A working group has been formed to plan the transition to 2021 for the Games, which on Tuesday became the first Olympics in history to have been postponed.
The 32nd Olympic Games in the modern era were originally scheduled to begin on 24 July – with the opening ceremony – and end on 9 August. A similar calendar would have the advantage of reducing the number of changes to the initial plan.
The last edition of the Games was held over a period of 17 days, with the opening ceremony on a Friday and closing on the third Sunday after that. The period beginning on 23 July 2021 and ending on 8 August thus seems to be the ideal choice. According to the source, various dates have been proposed.
Holding the Olympics in the Spring would avoid the problems of extreme summer heat and humidity in Tokyo. However, such a change would require the planning to be reviewed at the logistical level. Since the Olympics will have an impact on the calendars of sporting events the world over, sticking to the current dates could limit such disruptions.
Events that would be impacted by the proposed dates include the World Aquatics Championships (16 July – 1 August) in Fukuoka, Japan, and the World Athletics Championships (6-15 August) in Eugene, Oregon, USA. World Athletics President Sebastian Coe has already said his organization would be prepared to shift the date of the Eugene meet to 2022 to accommodate the postponement of the Olympics.
International Olympic Committee Coordinator John Coates also indicated last week that summer, between mid-July and late August, would be the best time. The Olympics could be held “between Wimbledon and the U.S. Open,” he said.
According to the Chairman of the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, Yoshiro Mori, the working group will probably agree to hold the event in summer. He said the group would arrive at its conclusion by the end of next week.
Japan’s Economic Affairs Minister, Yasutoshi Nishimura, announced substantial support measures for the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. Japan has already invested over 10 billion euros in the 2020 games.