New dates announced for Tokyo 2020 Olympics postponed over coronavirus concerns

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that were postponed last week due to concerns around the coronavirus pandemic have been rescheduled for next summer.

The games will open July 23, 2021, and close Aug. 8, 2021. The Paralympics will be held Aug. 24 through Sept. 5, 2021.

The Olympics were originally scheduled to take place between July 24 and Aug. 9 this year, but Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) agreed last Tuesday to postpone the games, as countries around the world struggle to contain the pandemic that has claimed more than 34,000 lives and forced millions around the world into lockdowns.

The new schedule was agreed upon in a telephone conference between IOC President Thomas Bach, Tokyo 2020 President Yoshiro Mori and other officials, the IOC said in a statement Monday.

The new dates give 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 coronavirus pandemic, the statement added.

"The new dates, exactly one year after those originally planned for 2020 also have the added benefit that any disruption that the postponement will cause to the international sports calendar can be kept to a minimum," the IOC said in its statement. "Additionally, they will provide sufficient time to finish the qualification process. The same heat mitigation measures as planned for 2020 will be implemented."

After the new dates were announced, World Athletics said its championships that were to be held in Eugene, Oregon, from Aug. 6 to 15, 2021, will be moved to new dates in 2022, so they don't clash with the new Olympic schedule.

The Olympics is the biggest event yet to be affected by the growing global pandemic.

The decision to postpone the games was welcomed by many athletes and national committees after growing calls for the games to be delayed or canceled because of the outbreak.

NBCUniversal, which is the parent company of NBC News, paid $4.4 billion for U.S. media rights to the four Olympics from 2014 to 2020.