The 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics that were to be hosted in Tokyo this summer have been postponed until summer of 2021. The delay was due to the rise in Covid-19 cases worldwide and growing fear that hosting such a big event would overall be very unsafe. The games will keep the name “Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020” even though they will be held in 2021.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced on March 24 that the Olympics would be postponed until the following year. On March 24, there were 39,825 Covid-19 cases worldwide. The decision was not without a lot of thought, as the Olympics is a global event that is planned years in advance. The delay was not taken lightly, as the amount of planning and coordination needed to be extremely thorough. According to IOC president Bach, him, the committee, and the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe “came to the situation where on the one hand [they] were pretty confident that … Japan in four months from now would be able, could be able, to organize the Games, [but] at the same time, [their] doubts were growing that the world would be ready for this Olympic Games.”

President Bach and the committee want the Olympic Games to “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.”