Tokyo 2020 Paralympics set for August 2021
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have been rescheduled to take place between 24 August and 5 September 2021. The dates were confirmed today (Monday 30 March) by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
This decision was taken under three main considerations:
- To protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved and to support the containment of the COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.
- To safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic and Paralympic sport.
- The global international sports calendar.
The new dates give 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. They will also minimise any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar. Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented.
IPC President, Andrew Parsons said:
"It is fantastic news that we could find new dates so quickly for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The new dates provide certainty for the athletes, reassurance for the stakeholders and something to look forward to for the whole world.
"When the Paralympic Games do take place in Tokyo next year, they will be an extra special display of humanity uniting as one, a global celebration of human resilience and a sensational showcase of sport.
"With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games 512 days away, the priority for all those involved in the Paralympic Movement must be to focus on staying safe with their friends and family during this unprecedented and difficult time.
"Now that the dates are confirmed, the IPC will work with the International Federations to establish new qualification criteria which will fully respect those that have already qualified for the Games."
President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Yoshiro Mori said:
"IOC President Thomas Bach and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee held a conference call today to discuss in detail the revised dates of the Tokyo 2020 Games.
"A certain amount of time is required for the selection and qualification of athletes and for their training and preparation, and the consensus was that staging the rescheduled Games during summer vacation in Japan would be preferable. In terms of transportation, arranging volunteers and the provision of tickets for those in Japan and overseas, as well as allowing for the COVID-19 situation, we think that it would be better to reschedule the Games one year later than planned, in the summer of 2021.
“Notwithstanding the postponement of the Olympic and Paralympic Games for the first time in history and various other issues that have already been highlighted, the event schedule is the cornerstone of future preparations, and I am convinced that taking this decision promptly will help speed up future preparations. I would like to thank all stakeholders, including the host city Tokyo and the Government of Japan, for their hard work during this short period. The Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee will continue to work hard for the success of next year's Games."
Chelsey Gotell, Chairperson of the IPC Athletes’ Council said:
"I think these new dates will be a huge sense of relief for the whole athlete community who will be appreciative at the speed they have been set. With more than 500 days to go until the Paralympics, athletes can mentally reset and begin thinking about their 2021 plans.
"For now though training for Tokyo is not the priority, staying safe is, and I hope all athletes, their families and their friends follow the advice of their local authorities during this difficult period for the whole world."
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics Games will run from 23 July to 8 August 2021.