First, the good news: the Games will retain its name of ‘Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020’, and will still be held during the summer, with the Olympics held from 23 July, to 8 August, 2021, and the Paralympics from 24 August to 5 September, 2021. This will give the planning committee and the athletes some breathing space to make preparations rather than scramble while a global pandemic is going on.
Now, the not-so-pleasant news: even with the dates confirmed, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will still have a logistical headache ahead of it. It will require Marie Kondo levels of coordination to sort out the billion-dollar contracts with existing sponsors and broadcast partners, which did not have a clause on postponement during the time of their signing. Then, there is the issue of what to do with the 57 percent of athletes who have qualified for this year’s Games, as well as the millions of tickets that have already been sold worldwide.
But really, does the fate of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games surprise anyone? With the pandemic being the only thing the world can talk about right now, perhaps the idea that Japan even had a choice at all was an illusion to begin with.
Correction: Earlier, we stated that the Olympics have only been cancelled twice. This is incorrect; it has been cancelled three times, in 1916, 1940, and 1944. We have since amended the error.