July 2021 has emerged as the most likely time frame for the start of the Tokyo Olympics, a source in the organizing committee said Saturday.
A task force has been charged with planning the transition to a 2021 time frame for the Tokyo Olympic Games, which on Tuesday became the first in history to be postponed. The original plan was for a July 24, 2020 opening ceremony. A similar time frame for 2021 would have the advantage of reducing the number of changes to the existing organizing plan.
The International Olympic Committee, the Tokyo metropolitan government and the local organizing committee are all expected to make adjustments to the task force plan.
Recent Olympics have been held over a 17-day stretch, with the opening ceremony on a Friday and wrapping up on the third Sunday. For those reasons, a time frame from July 23, 2021 to Aug. 8 has emerged as a strong candidate.
According to the source, various time frames have been put forward. While a spring Olympics would avoid problems caused by the extreme heat and humidity of Tokyo's summers, a major change in the season would force more logistical plans to be reworked completely.
Holding the event later rather than earlier would allow more margin for error and give the coronavirus pandemic more time to run its course.
Because the Olympics will impact sports calendars around the world, maintaining the current time frame may allow for fewer disruptions overseas.
Earlier in the day, Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics organizing committee President Yoshiro Mori said the task force would most likely settle on a summer start time and would reach its conclusion by the end of next week.