The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, originally scheduled for July 24th through August 9th, were officially postponed on March 24th. There was a lot of speculation as to whether or not the Games would be outright canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which had caused many other major weightlifting competitions to cancel or postpone.
The official postponement of the Olympic Games came after countries started pulling their athletes from the Olympics themselves or threatening to do so if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) decided not to take the preventative measure of postponing or canceling the Games.
Once officials confirmed that the Olympic Games would not be held until 2021, it was uncertain what that meant for athletes who were already qualified. After having to cope with the news that the Olympics would be postponed for the first time ever, it would be all the more devastating if their spots in the Games would also be put in jeopardy.
Absolutely crushed. Calling on @iocmedia and all NGBs to ensure those who have qualified for these games will compete whenever they are resumed.
— Katherine Nye (@KatherineNye6) March 23, 2020
Qualified athletes can now breathe a little easier as the IOC announced on Friday that athletes who qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will maintain their spots for the 2021 Olympic Games.
In addition to confirming that athletes would maintain their spots for the 2021 Olympic Games, the IOC also confirmed that there would not be any additional spots added or taken away. That means that the 57% percent of athletes who have already qualified are a lock for the Games, and countries will still have the opportunity to fill the vacancies left in the outstanding 43% — relieving news for the athletes who were unable to qualify for the Olympics because so many of their qualifying events were getting canceled because of the pandemic.
While we know they’ll still be in Tokyo, the new date for the Olympic Games has not yet been set. According to the joint statement between the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee:
“…the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.”
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