Officials are considering a summer start date for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. The New York Times reported that the opening ceremony will likely be held July 23 of next year.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced Tuesday their decision to officially postpone the Games due to the coronavirus pandemic, but didn’t nail down rescheduling options.
The proposed start would put the Olympics almost exactly one year after their original dates, as the opening ceremony was scheduled for July 24 of this year. The IOC executive board planned to meet Sunday to discuss this possibility.
Spring was originally floated as a possibility, but that has reach opposition from many major sports as well as NBC Universal, which owns broadcast rights to the Olympic Games.
“On a call within the past week with Thomas Bach, the IOC president, some federations, including those representing swimming, table tennis, triathlon and equestrian, had voiced a preference to hold the Olympics in the spring,” the New York Times reported. “That, though, would have led to a clash with the seasons for major soccer leagues and many of the richest U.S. sports leagues.”
While a July start date fits into the calendars of the 30-odd sports participating, it still leaves athletes facing Tokyo’s hottest season. The FEI conducted a research study at the Ready, Steady Tokyo Test event last year that found despite the heat, horses handled conditions well and remained in good health, thanks to implementations made by the host site. You can read more about that study here.