Officials for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics plan to hold the opening ceremony for the Games on July 23, 2021.
The International Olympic Committee and Tokyo organizers bowed to growing pressure to move the Games back due to the growing coronavirus pandemic.
The postponement equals almost exactly a one-year delay and represents the first non-wartime schedule change for the Olympics.
“The schedule for the Games is key to preparing for the Games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”
The same venues, some of which were constructed exclusively for the Olympics, are being used in the planning for the events around the Games in 2021.
CEO Toshiro Muto said cost of delay is extreme and most of the expenses are borne by Japanese taxpayers. Muto promised transparency in calculating the costs, and determining how expenses are divided up.
“Since (the Olympics) were scheduled for this summer, all the venues had given up hosting any other events during this time, so how do we approach that?” Muto asked. “In addition, there will need to be guarantees when we book the new dates, and there is a possibility this will incur rent payments. So there will be costs incurred and we will need to consider them one by one. I think that will be the tougher process.”
The Paralympics were rescheduled to Aug. 24-Sept. 5.
With the new start date, the closing ceremony for the Olympics will be August 8.
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