Amid mounting pressure for the 2020 Olympics to be postponed, and countries like Australia and Canada even withdrawing their athletes a few days ago, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), have agreed to postpone the Games to 2021.
The Games, originally slated to take place from July 24 to August 9, 2020, will now be delayed a whole year, and will stay in Japan. They are now scheduled to take place between July 23 and August 8, 2021. The Paralympic Games will similarly be postponed to next summer, from August 24 to September 5, 2021.
According to a joint statement from the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, “The IOC President and the Prime Minister of Japan have concluded that the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community.”
In the meantime, the Olympic flame will stay in Japan as a symbol of hope and commitment. And despite the postponement, the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
A version of this article was previously published on March 23, 2020, and was updated on March 30, 2020, with more information.