(Olympic Square / Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games)

Many sports tournaments across the world have been cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the king of global sporting events, the Olympic Games, will join them.

The International Olympic Committee along with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced on Tuesday that Tokyo Olympics will now take place in 2021 – when they were originally set for this summer.

In their official statement, the IOC said the games will be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 – but no later than summer 2021.

The decision was made to safeguard the health of athletes and everyone involved in the Olympics. The sporting event will continue to be called Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

“After his telephone talks with IOC President Bach, PM Abe spoke to the press and explained that the two have agreed that the Tokyo Olympic Games would not be cancelled, and the games will be held by the summer of 2021,” said a tweet from the office of the Japanese Prime Minister.

Though the Olympics have been cancelled in the past – due to World War I and World War II – this is the first time in their long history they been postponed to a different year.