The Tokyo Olympics will open next year in the same time slot scheduled for this year’s games.
Tokyo organizers said Monday the opening ceremony will take place on July 23, 2021 — almost exactly one year after the games were due to start this year.
“The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games,” Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. “This will only accelerate our progress.”
Last week, the IOC and Japanese organizers postponed the Olympics until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year’s games were scheduled to open on July 24 and close on Aug. 9.
There had been talk of switching the Olympics to spring, a move that would coincide with the blooming of Japan’s famous cherry blossoms. But it would also clash with European soccer and North American sports leagues.
After holding out for weeks, local organizers and the IOC last week postponed the Tokyo Games under pressure from athletes, national Olympic bodies and sports federations. It’s the first postponement in Olympic history, though there were several cancellations during wartime. The Olympics planned for 1940 in Tokyo were canceled because of Japan’s war with China.
Japan is officially spending $12.6 billion to organize the Olympics. However, an audit bureau of the Japanese government says the costs are twice that much.
All of the spending is public money except $5.6 billion from a privately funded operating budget.