Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are being postponed until 2021 due to Covid-19

By America Lopez-Santiago
April 1, 2020

The 2020 Olympics are being postponed. According to Richard Pound, vice president of the Olympic Committee, the games would most likely be moved to the summer of 2021.

The Olympic Games have become an important event for people all over the world to come as a whole. Not only have they become a staple, but they only happen every four years. Before the announcement, it wasn’t long ago that Thomas Bach, president of the IOC, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan were promoting the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Even without knowing it, they did this as a way to keep hope within people during this pandemic.

“In this way, the Olympic flame can really become the light at the end of this dark tunnel the whole world is going through together at this moment, and which we do not know how long it will be,” Bach said.

Tokyo 2020 logo with Tokyo in the background. Photo provided by ©

Olympic Games press release

On the same day, the IOC Executive Board put out a press release statement talking about the Summer Tokyo 2020 games being postponed. In this statement, they discussed that since there are several National Olympic Committees and athletes are unable to continue training in this environment, which has caused great concern for the board. This information prompted the board to have a video conference and discuss different scenarios of what they should do and then decided to postpone the games but that canceling the Tokyo Games isn’t on their agenda.

Message for athletes

On Tuesday, March 24, IOC President Bach had a message for the athletes that were supposed to be part of Tokyo 2020. In this message, Bach said that the athletes could be sure that their Olympic dream will come true even if it’s not until 2021. He also mentioned how they could be sure that he and the board were going to do everything in their power to make sure the Olympics Games will be ready by Summer 2020 even though they’ve never had to postpone the Olympic Games before. 

The Olympic rings in front of Tokyo Tower and the Rainbow Bridge at Odaiba Marine Park. Photo provided by Clive Rose/Getty Images.

International Olympic Committee sets new dates

 On Monday, March 30, The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and the Government of Japan announced the new schedule for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021. The decision on these new dates was based on protecting the health of the athletes and everyone involved, the global international sports calendar and on safeguarding the interest of the Olympic sport and the athletes. 

 The new dates for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2021 will be July 23 to August 8. With these new dates, it gives all the organizations involved and health authorities time to deal with the disruption caused by COVID-19. 

“It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games,” Andrew Parsons, the President of the IPC, said. “The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world.”

Reactions to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games being postponed 

 Since the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been postponed to next year, there have been a couple of athletes that have had mixed emotions about the announcement. According to the TODAY show, when Simone Biles, the reigning Olympic gymnastics champion, got wind of the news, she was at the gym and cried even though she knew that was the best decision during this time. According to Biles, she doesn’t doubt that her coaches can get her back to shape but worries about her and other athlete’s mental health.  

Ahtziri Lopez, Cabrini alumna, reading Dafne Schippers Instagram post on the 2020 Olympics Games. Photo by America Lopez-Santiago.

 Double Olympic judo champion Teddy Riner wrote on Instagram, “See you in 2021, Tokyo. First, we have a more important fight to win,” which was talking about fighting COVID-19. 

“Just heard the news that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will be postponed until summer 2021,” Dafne Schippers, silver medallist, wrote on Instagram. “Needless to say, I was really looking forward, and my shape is good at the moment, but for now, we have to look at the bigger picture and do whatever it takes to beat the COVID-19. Let’s hope for the best, and let’s make sure we’ll celebrate even harder in 2021!”

Jesus Santiago reading about the 2020 Olympics being postponed on Twitter. Photo by America Lopez-Santiago

“I’m glad it got postponed due to the pandemic,” Jesus Santiago, a medical student at John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, said. “You have to keep in mind that major countries would have to go out of their way to travel to a central location where professional athletes and staff would have been at risk of getting infected. It massively affects sports cause a lot of these athletes are not like your everyday athletes who get to play a game every year every season. It’s something they have to hone their craft and put a lot of sweat and tears into.”

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America Lopez-Santiago

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