- The Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020 will be held from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
- IPC should establish new qualification criteria
- Athletes who have already qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Games will receive a seat at the Games
The Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games were rescheduled for the period from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
The dates were confirmed on Monday (March 30) by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo government and the International Paralympic Committee (IPC).
This decision was made for three main reasons:
1. Protecting the health of athletes and all participants, as well as supporting the containment of the COVID-19 virus.
2. Protecting the interests of athletes, as well as Olympic and Paralympic sports.
3. Global international sports calendar.
These new dates give the healthcare authorities and everyone involved in organizing the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing environment and the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will also minimize any glitches in the international sports calendar caused by the transfer of the Games. In addition, they will provide enough time to complete the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures that were planned for 2020 will be implemented.
The President of the IPC 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 approved, the IPC will work with international federations to create new qualification criteria that will fully take into account the fact that already qualified athletes must compete at the Games. ”
The IOC President Thomas Bach said:
“I want to thank the International Federations for their unanimous support and the Continental Associations of National Olympic Committees for the excellent partnership and support in the consultation process over the past few days. I would also like to thank the IOC Athletes Commission, with whom we are in constant contact.
I am confident that by working together with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Tokyo government, the Japanese government and all our partners, we will be able to cope with this unprecedented task. Humanity is currently in a dark tunnel. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics may be the light at the end of this tunnel. ”
The President of the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Mori Yoshirō, 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. Minister for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Hashimoto Seiko and Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko joined the call. I proposed that the Games should be hosted between July and August 2021, and I really appreciate that President Bach, having discussed this proposal with the various international sports federations and other related organisations, kindly accepted my proposal.
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 the summer vacation in Japan would be preferable. In terms of transport, 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 to 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 the 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.”
Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko said:
“In consideration of the global coronavirus outbreak, we need a certain timeframe before we fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure for the athletes and spectators.
Also, the preparation for the new dates will go smoothly, as the dates match with same timeframe as the original competition dates, corresponding with ticketing, venue staffing, volunteers and transport. Therefore, I believe that celebrating the opening of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on 23 July 2021 is ideal.
The athletes, volunteers, torchbearers and local municipality governments have been concerned about the situation. Since we now have concrete new dates to aim for, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will commit all its resources, and work closely with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the national government and other stakeholders to fully prepare for the delivery of Games that are safe and secure.”
Chelsey Gotell - the chairman of the IPC Athlete’s Council said:
“I think these new dates will be immense relief for the entire community of athletes, who are grateful that the deadlines were quickly set. Over 500 days before the Paralympic Games, athletes can mentally reboot and start thinking about their plans for 2021.
Despite the fact that the main priority now is not training for Tokyo, but to remain safe - I hope that all athletes, their families and their friends will follow the advice of local authorities in this difficult period for the whole world. ”