The 2020 Tokyo Olympics which had been postponed to 2021 due to the Coronavirus outbreak is set to be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, whereas the Tokyo Paralympics will be held from August 24 to August 8, 2021.
The new dates were finalised on Monday in a meeting between the International Olympic Committee and the organizers. These dates have been decided with an attempt to avoid major conflict with the international sports calendar and in a bid to minimize the logistical challenges faced by organizers.
A task force has also been set up by the Tokyo Games organizing committee responsible for handling the delay and to use the existing plans for the games as much as possible. Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori had earlier said that the task force would likely settle on a summer start time and would reach a conclusion by the end of the following week.
The Olympic flame will remain burning in Japan after arriving as scheduled from Greece on March 20 despite the push of dates to next year. In its 31 editions from the first modern Olympics in 1896, the Summer Games had never been postponed although they were cancelled in 1916, 1940 and 1944 due to the war.
First originated in Wuhan, China, the Coronavirus has already seen globally over 735,336 cases with 34,818 deaths. While the initial epicentre was the Wuhan province, it soon shifted to Europe which has seen massive deaths in UK, Spain, Italy - with major leaders like UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson testing positive.
Currently, the US has overtaken China in the number of positive cases and has emerged as the epicentre of the pandemic with 142,793 cases and 2,490 deaths - no countrywide shutdown has been declared as of date in the US.