This weekend, billions of people were supposed to gather and be tuning in to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games. However, the Olympics have been officially postponed to July 23, 2021.
The International Olympic Committee has announced in a statement that the venues and competition schedule for the 2021 games have been confirmed.
2021 Olympic Games Schedule
Although the Olympic Games will be held in 2021, the Olympic Committee has decided to still call the event the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It will feature a record 33 sports, 339 medals and 42 venues, starting on July 23 and closing on Aug. 8.
Actual competition will begin two days prior to the Opening Ceremony on July 21 with softball in Fukushima.
The first medals of the Games will be awarded on July 24 in the women’s 10m air rifle shooting event, along with 10 other events taking place that day, including judo, one of Japan’s strongest categories.
Twenty-five gold medals will be given out on “Golden Sunday,” which is Aug. 1, including the men’s 100m in athletics as well as four artistic gymnastics events and men’s tennis singles.
On Aug. 7, 34 medal events will be held, such as the marathon and the finals for baseball, basketball, football and volleyball. The Closing Ceremony be held on Aug. 8.
There will be multiple new events happening in the 2020 Olympic Games. There will be softball, three-on-three basketball, skateboarding, and surfing. Baseball is set to return after it was last played in the Olympics in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
“Super Saturday” on July 31 will feature 21 medal events, four of which will debut at the Olympic Games: the 4x400m mixed relay in athletics, Judo mixed team, triathlon mixed relay and shooting trap mixed team.
Coronavirus in Japan
Although the postponement of the Olympic Games is a bit of a relief, Japan is going through a new surge in coronavirus infections. According to public broadcaster NHK, Tokyo recorded a record of 366 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the first time it has reached more than 300 infections in a day. The count has now exceeded 100 for 15 straight days.
Japan experienced a loss of tourists this year, so the Japanese government launched a new travel initiative that encouraged domestic traveling. However, the government canceled the travel program and advised Tokyo residents to stay home and rest.
Japanese government officials are in chaos as they are worried about the spread of the coronavirus, but at the same time need to work on the economic loss due to the people staying at home.
Tokyo Residents Oppose Olympics in 2021
A survey in Tokyo revealed that just over half of the city residents opposed to the postponement of the Olympic Games. They want either a further delay or absolute cancelation of the event due to the fears over the coronavirus.
A poll was conducted, and 51.7% of respondents hoped the Games in 2021 to be postponed again or canceled, while only 46.3% wanted to see the rescheduled Olympic Games happen. Those who opposed the event happening were concerned that even a year’s delay might not be sufficient to hold the Games safely.
The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in March was the worst disruption to the Olympics since two editions were canceled during World War II.