Athletes and sports bodies react to new dates for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Katinka Hosszu, Alise Willoughby, Pita Taufatofua and others react as 23 July–8 August 2021 are announced as the new dates for Tokyo 2020.

By ZK Goh ·

Athletes, NOCs, and sports federations have been reacting to Monday's announcement that the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 will now take place from 23 July–8 August 2021.

Olympic champion swimmer Katinka Hosszu posted a photo of herself smiling, saying as an athlete she felt "lucky … in this unlucky situation" to now know the dates of the Games and have a full year to prepare.

American BMX racer and Olympic silver medallist Alise Post-Willoughby was among the first to react, posting a smiling emoji on social media while sending "smiles and gratitude" to her sponsors and family.

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua, who has qualified for his third straight Games including 2018's Winter Olympics, said: "I’m hoping all around the world will pack the stadiums and restaurants, hotels and venues to show our love for the hosts Tokyo and the IOC who made a very tough decision in postponing the games."

Mexican diver Rommel Pacheco reminded his followers to "stay home, maintain ourselves, and end the emergency to continue preparing ourselves", adding that "I insist today the most important thing is everyone's health".

British gymnast Becky Downie, who is retiring after the Games, said she was "ready for the final chapter".

Team USA are ready for the rescheduled Games, too, posting a series of photos of their Olympians with the new start date.

Also ready for the new dates are the next hosts of the Olympic Games after Tokyo. Paris 2024 say: "count on us, we will be there".

And USA Basketball are ready to defend their titles.

Sports' governing bodies react

World Athletics said in a short statement that they supported the new dates, and that the World Athletics Championships scheduled for next year would be pushed back. "Everyone needs to be flexible and compromise and to that end we are now working with the organisers of the World Athletics Championships in Oregon on new dates in 2022 for our World Athletics Championships," it said.

Swimming's world governing body FINA said it, too, would work with its World Championships organiser to find new dates: "FINA will now consult with the organisers of the 2021 FINA World Championships in Fukuoka (JPN) to examine a revision to the proposed dates for the Championships (initially scheduled to take place from July 16-August 1, 2021). Meanwhile, FINA would like to express its sincere thanks to Tokyo 2020 and to Japan for its commitment to hosting a rescheduled Olympic Games."

World Triathlon president and IOC Member Marisol Casado said: "We would have preferred to move the Games to earlier dates, where the impact of the heat was a bit lower, we agreed that these dates are the best solution for all sports, athletes and IFs, and therefore support wholeheartedly the decision.

"I am absolutely confident that we will have magnificent Games in Tokyo next summer, with the help and support of all of us involved in the preparations for hosting the event."

Meanwhile, the International Canoe Federation said it "fully supports" the new dates, although it will mean changes to its own competition schedule. "We are very fortunate in the ICF to have some fantastically loyal and professional host venues, and we will work very hard to make sure any necessary changes occur with as little inconvenience as possible to these important partners," ICF secretary-general Simon Toulson said.


23 Jul - 8 Aug

Tokyo 2020 | Olympic Games