We pretty much knew this was coming, but it’s now official: the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo Olympic organizers have agreed to move the Tokyo Games to 2021. From NBC Sports’ OlympicTalk:
“In the present circumstances and based on the information provided by the [World Health Organization] today, 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 . . . The leaders agreed that the Olympic Games in Tokyo could stand as a beacon of hope to the world during these troubled times and that the Olympic flame could become the light at the end of the tunnel in which the world finds itself at present. Therefore, it was agreed that the Olympic flame will stay in Japan. It was also agreed that the Games will keep the name Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.”
The modern Olympics, first held in Athens in 1896, have only ever been canceled for World War I (1916) and World War II (1940 and 1944). The continued on in the wake of terror attacks at the 1972 Munich Olympics which left 11 Israeli athletes dead, and the 1996 Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park bombing, which killed two and injured 111 others.