Report: Olympic organizers have target date in 2021 to start Tokyo Games

Despite overwhelming uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will play out, Olympic organizers reportedly have a target date in mind to reschedule the postponed Tokyo Games.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that officials are planning to start the games on July 23, 2021. The date is almost exactly a year removed from the planned start date of the Summer Olympics on July 24 of this year.

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After an outcry from athletes and national organizing committees, the International Olympic Committee announced on Tuesday that it was postponing the games to a date “no later than summer 2021” because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the WHO today, the IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community,” the IOC’s statement on Tuesday read.

Organizers reportedly intend to commence the Tokyo Games almost exactly a year from their intended start date. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

Games have never been postponed

The postponement is the first of its kind for the modern Olympics. Games in 1916, 1940 and 1944 were canceled because of World War I and World War II.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams deemed the report “speculation” when the Times asked for comment. IOC executives will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the decision, according to the report.

The IOC originally announced that a final decision on a new date could be made in a matter of weeks. Saturday’s report implies that organizers intend to announce a decision much sooner.

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