The 32nd Summer Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan from July 24 to August 9, 2020, were postponed due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. The International Olympic Committee, IOC, has agreed with the Japanese government that even if the Olympics are held in 2021, the name of the Games will be the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The postponed Tokyo Olympics will open on July 23, 2021, and close on August 8, 2021. Also, the Paralympics will open on August 24, 2021. It is the first time in 124 years that the Summer Olympics were postponed due to infectious diseases. So far, there have been three Olympics cancelled, which were the 1916 Berlin Games, 1940 Tokyo Games, and 1944 London. However, all of them had been cancelled due to World Wars not diseases. The decision to postpone the 2020 Tokyo Olympics broke the tradition of holding Olympics in even-numbered years every four years for the first time.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics Organizing Committee and the IOC have simplified measures to reduce the cost of hosting postponed competitions. First of all, the Japanese government decided to reduce the number of officials participating in the event. The number of officials excluding players is expected to be reduced by about 15 percent from what was initially planned. And then, various services will be simplified. It is expected that the number of cleaning services at the athletes’ village will be reduced, and the entrance ceremony for entering the athletes’ village will be omitted. The team plans to reduce the decoration of the stadium and not produce any spectacular scenes during the game.
The organizing committee of the Tokyo Olympics held a meeting with the Japanese government and Tokyo authorities and unveiled a draft of COVID-19 quarantine guidelines for the participating athletes. Participants in the Tokyo Olympics will be exempt from quarantine for two weeks, but they will be required to undergo COVID-19 inspections on several occasions, including an immigration check. In addition, during the Tokyo Olympics, athletes from each country will be restricted from entering areas near their accommodation and training grounds. Also, using public facilities and public transportation will be restricted.
Although the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed until next year due to COVID-19, there is no guarantee that the virus will remain calm next year. There are also many concerns that COVID-19 may spread rapidly due to the Olympics next year. The biggest challenge for hosting the competition is the COVID-19 measure, in which Japan is facing a difficult situation to ensure safety.