31 March2020

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have been postponed to 2021

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics have officially been postponed to no "later than summer 2021" due to the fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic. The Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will be celebrated from 23 July to 8 August 2021. They also agreed on new dates for the Paralympic games, which will be celebrated from 24 August until 5 September 2021.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pulled the plug on this summer's Games today, which will be rescheduled for next year. Abe spoke to International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach. The PM urged, on behalf of his government, a 12-month postponement of the Games - with Bach "100 per cent" agreeing to postpone it by a year.

A statement released on Tuesday read: "The president of the IOC, Thomas Bach, and the PM of Japan, Abe Shinzo, held a conference call this morning to discuss the constantly changing environment with regard to Covid-19 and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. 

The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The decision was taken based on three main considerations and in line with the principles established by the IOC Executive Board (EB) on 17 March 2020 and confirmed at its meeting today. These were supported by all the International Summer Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) and all the National Olympic Committees (NOCs):

- To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus.
- To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport.

The decision gives the health authorities and all involved in the organisation of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tokyo Olympic Games may have been postponed, but with striking aquatic centres and billion-dollar timber stadiums, Japan’s capital stands ready for the greatest sporting event on Earth.