IOC Confirms New 2021 Dates For Tokyo Olympic Games

WASHINGTON, March 31, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

The International Olympic Committee has confirmed new dates for the Tokyo Olympic Games. They will be contested beginning July 23, 2021 and continue until August 8. The Games were postponed for a year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement that was published on its official website on Monday, the IOC said: “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 (Olympic Games July 24-August 9 and Paralympic Games August 25-September 6), also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum, in the interests of the athletes and the IFs (International Federations).

“Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process.”

According to Tennis Channel commentator Ted Robinson, some athletes “will have lost a year to Father Time – think Venus (Williams), Serena (Williams), Roger (Federer) in tennis – while others will have gained a valuable year of maturation, and some of the ‘sports in the Olympics’ (basketball, golf, tennis) will encounter adjusting their schedules to allow participation.

“The enormity of a global pandemic is being felt by tennis, the most global professional sport. The path to free travel for all from so many countries seems far away,” Robinson told Tennis TourTalk.

How will the summer 2021 calendar look?

Based on the new Tokyo 2020 dates – and assuming sports has returned to normalcy by this time next year – the Olympic tennis tournament likely would take place July 24-August 1. It would start nearly two weeks after the completion of Wimbledon.

Taking #TennisAtHome to a new extreme

A widely-seen #TennisAtHome video – with nearly 200,000 likes on his Twitter page – of Roger Federer practicing his hitting alone at home in Switzerland against a wall made the rounds of social media on Monday. The 38-year-old Swiss maestro tweeted his video with the comment: “Making sure I still know how to hit trick shots.”

What’s remarkable is not that Federer almost effortlessly hit a 15-shot rally that lasted 22 seconds, which included forehands, backhands, behind-the-back shots and tweeners, but that he was doing it outdoors with light flurries falling from the sky! Always conscious of his branding, Federer dressed for the occasion in a variety of Uniqlo-endorsed togs – sweatpants, sweatshirt and down vest accented with a stylish stocking cap – while wearing a pair of Swiss-engineered On Cloudswift kicks, which he also endorses. Talk about staying sharp – and looking sharp – all while social distancing, too.

What they’re tweeting

Jamie Murray, Great Britain, ranked No. 26 in doubles

Billie Jean King, 76, who won 39 Grand Slam (11 singles, 16 doubles, 12 mixed doubles) titles during her Hall of Fame career

Fabio Fognini, Italy, ranked No. 11 in singles

Elise Mertens, Belgium, ranked No. 23 in singles and No. 5 in doubles