Yeah, we figured that coronavirus had officially halted the summer as soon as the International Olympics Committee scrapped this year’s Tokyo event way back in March. We would love to have high hopes for next summer (that is, if people can manage to resist the siren call of a Smash Mouth concert for that long), but here’s what we know for damn sure: Come hell or high diving, we are in for an overdue marathon of globally revered, highly competitive summer sports beginning July 23, 2021. Per Deadline, the IOC remains committed to that date whether we’ve stumbled upon the vaccine or not.
“It will take place with or without Covid. The games will start July 23 next year,” IOC vice president John Coates confirmed to the Agence France-Presse on Monday. He also revealed that the theme will center on reconstruction in recognition of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan. The IOC—Coates, in particular—hopes that the pandemic will add new meaning to the idea of reconstructing the games a year later. “Now very much these will be the Games that conquered Covid, the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.
Whether the Olympics will actually manage to defeat coronavirus or if it’ll devolve into an incubation hub for another viral spread remains to be seen, but they IOC has just over ten months to figure out how to make the event as safe as possible. Besides, we can’t imagine that moving a $10 billion investment another year is really an option.