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by Dane Cash
March 31, 2020
Photography by Cor Vos
The Tokyo Olympics have a new date. Organizers announced on Monday that the upcoming Olympic Games will now take place from July 23 to August 8 of 2021. New dates for the Paralympic Games were also announced: August 24 to September 5.
The Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics were postponed last week amid coronavirus concerns after weeks of mounting pressure from athletes, national governing bodies, and others from across the world of sport.
“Humankind currently finds itself in a dark tunnel,” said International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach in the statement announcing the news. “These Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 can be a light at the end of this tunnel.”
The new Olympic dates come almost exactly one year after the initially planned dates for the Games. According to a statement, organizers planned the rescheduling with a focus on protecting “the health of the athletes and everyone involved” as well as the “the interests of the athletes and of Olympic sport,” while also working around the global sporting calendar.
For cycling, however, the new Olympic dates could have an impact on the calendar nonetheless. As the international cycling calendar for 2021 was not planned with the possibility of an Olympic Games taken into account, next year’s Tour de France is at least currently planned to run from July 2 to July 25. Unless the 2021 calendar is altered around the new Olympic dates, the final stages of the 2021 Tour would clash with the first few days of the Olympics.
In a statement announcing the rescheduling, organizing committee President Mori Yoshiro said that pushing the postponement back a full year (rather than any time sooner) was done to provide ample time for “the selection and qualification of athletes,” “their training and preparation,” and the complex transport arrangements needing to be made.
As the statement noted, “It has previously been confirmed that all athletes already qualified and quota places already assigned for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will remain unchanged.”