WOAY – The International Olympic Committee officially announced Tuesday that the 2020 Summer Games, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan, will be moved to 2021 amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
This is the first time an Olympic Games – summer or winter – have ever been postponed; the 1916 Summer Games were canceled due to World War I, as were the Summer & Winter Games in 1940 & 1944 due to World War II.
The move comes following concerns that many countries were urging athletes to not compete this summer. Canada and Australia had announced they would be not sending teams to the Olympics, while the heads of Team USA’s swimming and track & field federations had asked for the IOC to postpone the Games.
IOC officials say the competitions won’t be held later than the summer of 2021, but they will still be referred to as the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Tokyo will host a Summer Olympic Games for the second time, having previously hosted in 1964. The city was originally selected to host the 1940 Summer Games, but forfeited to Helsinki; those games were ultimately canceled due to World War II. Japan has also hosted the Winter Olympics twice.