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LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 27: Fireworks burst above the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 in London, England.

2020 Olympic Games Officially Rescheduled for 2021

Gettyimages | Michael Regan
By Alyssa McCraw

The 2020 Olympic Games have already established their updated timeline - and will still keep the year "2020" in the title even though the Games won't occur until next year.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced on March 30th that the sporting spectacular will now take place across the dates of July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. Additionally, the Paralympic Games are still planned to kick off right behind the Olympic Games, from August 4th until September 5th.

The IOC states their "decision was taken based on three main considerations" and previously agreed-upon principles.

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The iconic Olympic rings glow amidst a perfectly clear sky.
Gettyimages | Carl Court

The first consideration, they said, was "to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, and to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus;" second, was to "safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport" - and third, to respect "the global international sports calendar."

"These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic," their Tuesday statement read.

The iconic Olympic rings glow amidst a perfectly clear sky.
Unsplash | Kyle Dias

"The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games: 24 July to 9 August 2020 and Paralympic Games: 25 August to 6 September 2020), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the [International Federations]."

Although the city of Tokyo has been fully compliant with the IOC, that doesn't mean it's going to be an easy change.

$26 Billion Already Spent in Olympic Preparation

Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) helps Japan prepare for the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
Wikimedia |

In December 2019, USA Today reported that "Tokyo Olympic organizers said Friday they are spending 1.35 trillion Japanese yen – about $12.6 billion – to stage [the] next year’s games." But while the organizations said that number had not shifted since 2018, it turns out an audit report told a different story.

"The audit lists an added $9.7 billion (1.06 trillion yen) it says are Olympic-related costs that have not been included. In addition," the publication said, "the city of Tokyo has previously said it would spend another $7.4 billion (810 trillion yen) on Olympic-related projects."

Money aside, a major postponement begs a major question - what about the sports themselves?

The Fate for Athletes & Ticketholders

US soccer players Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan share an on-field victory ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Alex Morgan | Facebook

Bloomberg confirms that "athletes who have already earned a slot at the games will retain it, and ticket holders will be able to use their tickets in 2021."

A very notable story is that of US soccer star Alex Morgan - she'll be delivering her first baby next month and would be competing with her team at the Tokyo games just three months later. Post-postponement, Morgan spoke to Glamour about the sudden change of plans.

“I tried to look at it more from a team perspective, but I couldn’t help but think of myself with all of the stress that’s going on from the coronavirus on top of trying to get back in shape in such a short amount of time." However, when the U.S. Olympic Committee asked for their athletes' opinions, Morgan found it best to postpone.

'“That’s the best decision to level the playing field for all athletes in all events.”

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