- WSL / Kelly Cestari

Today the organizing coalition for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has announced a new date for the Summer Olympics. The Opening Ceremonies will now run on July 23rd, 2021.

It's been reported that the IOC had considered running the Olympics next spring, but opted to run exactly one year later from the original date this year's Games were scheduled for.

"The schedule for the games is key to preparing for the games," Tokyo organizing committee president Yoshiro Mori said. "This will only accelerate our progress."

Due to the precautions with the COVID-19 pandemic, last week the International Olympic Committee announced that the Games scheduled for this summer had to be postponed. The initial announcement indicated that it could take as long as four weeks for the IOC to make their next steps clear, but decisive decision-making has expedited the process.

"We wanted to have more room for the athletes to qualify," Mori noted.

In terms of how this effects surfing, with over half of the 40-person competitive field already provisionally qualified via the 2019 Championship Tour and the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, there remain a few open spots yet to be decided.

OAHU, UNITED STATES - DECEMBER 12: Italo Ferreira of Brazil is presented with a gift from the WSL for his preliminary qualificatoin to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics at the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline on December 12, 2019 in Oahu, United States. (Pho World Champion Italo Ferreira celebrates his provisional qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics during the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters. - WSL / Kelly Cestari

Those positions will be determined by the 2020 ISA World Surfing Games. Originally slated to take place in El Salvador May 9-17, the ISA has pushed the event back to a date yet to be determined.

Stay tuned here as more will continue to develop in the Olympic space.

At the end of the 2019 Championship Tour season, the WSL provisionally qualified 18 surfers to represent the sport's Olympic debut:

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