As we reported earlier this month the International Olympic Committee (IOC) had been exploring potential options should the coronavirus not be contained by the time the games came around in July. The IOC came to an official decision on March 23, 2020, announcing that for the first time in the history of the Olympics would be pushed back until 2021. The decision did not come as a shock since many Olympic qualifiers have been postponed until further notice or canceled altogether. While this is not what the committee was hoping for this decision seems to be the most sensible option that was presented. The other option was to have the athletes compete with no spectators, but keep the games televised. Unfortunately due to the outbreak, it would be unlikely that the athletes would be able to travel to Tokyo since many countries have banned or limited international and domestic travel.
The 2021 games will still take place in Tokyo as NBC Sports reported officials want the Olympic flame to be a symbol of hope for the whole world in these uncertain times. The IOC sent a letter to all athletes letting them know that all options had been considered before coming to the ultimate decision of postponing, and they understood the frustration being felt around the situation. There is no set date for the games to take place on but the officials are looking to the summer of 2021 for a start date.