The 2020 Tokyo Summer Paralympics have a new date
After officials postponed the 2020 Tokyo Summer Paralympics last week because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, they set the new date for them today – Aug. 24—Sept. 5, 2021.
International Olympic Committee (IOC), Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and International Paralympic Committee (IPC) officials made the decision, citing three main considerations in a Monday press release: to protect the health of the athletes and everyone involved, to support the containment of the COVID-19 virus and to safeguard the interests of the athletes and of Olympic and Paralympic sport and the global international sports calendar.
“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,” says IPC President Andrew Parsons in the press release. “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.”
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics also have a new date and will run July 23—Aug. 8, 2021. So, the Paralympics will continue to run a couple of weeks after the Olympics.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike says the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will commit all its resources and work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the national government and other stakeholders to fully prepare for the delivery of a Games that is safe and secure.
IPC Athletes’ Council Chairperson Chelsey Gotell thinks the quick decision of finalizing dates will help athletes.
“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,” Gotell says in the release. “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.”